The Progressive Conservatives and NDP on P.E.I. are blaming cuts to teaching staff for poor international test results released early Tuesday morning.
Close to 1,300 15-year-old students wrote tests from the Programme for International Student Assessment last year. P.E.I. scored below the OECD average in all categories: reading, writing and science. It was the only province to score below the OECD average in any category.
PC education critic James Aylward said cuts to education are the main reason for the low scores.
"This is a terrible trend that we have been seeing over the last number of years and now we're at the bottom of the pack of all of Canada," said Aylward.
"The government is not listening. We see them continually cut teaching positions or cutting teacher aid positions. We don't have enough school psychologists, I mean the list just goes on and on. They are cutting rather than working within education to improve our scores."
Aylward claims some families who had moved to P.E.I. from other countries are deciding to leave because they have concerns about the education system.
NDP Leader Mike Redmond called the results alarming, and said he believes they are a direct result of cuts to education and teaching positions.
"This Liberal government has continually cut teaching positions and it is really starting to have a dramatic affect on both class sizes and resources allocated to teachers in this province," said Redmond.
"Our kids are not getting the education that they require."
Redmond questions how the government can even contemplate a $45-million Cornwall bypass highway when student scores are so low. He said the government has to get its spending priorities straight and put more money into education.