Nfld. & Labrador

Education cuts targeted in latest anti-budget rally

About 200 people rallied on the legislature steps on Wednesday evening to protest expanding class sizes, combined grades and caps on French immersion enrollment in schools in the province.
Plenty of children turned out to Wednesday's rally at Confederation building. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

The coming cuts to Newfoundland and Labrador's education system were at issue in the latest protest at Confederation Building in St. John's.

About 200 people rallied on the legislature steps on Wednesday evening to protest expanding class sizes, combined grades and caps on French immersion enrolment in schools in the province.

Peter Whittle, the president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils, said he and the other protestors need to make some noise.

"These are fairly significant changes, that are going to have impacts for a long time," he said.

"We wanted government to hear what we had to say, to see that we're galvanized and united."

Full-day concerns

The rally was organized by #IHeartEDU, a newly formed protest group determined to fight cuts to the education system.

The group said supporters been organizing protests at schools across the province.

One of the concern is the implementation of full-day kindergarten, which critics say is taking funding and attention away from the rest of the school system.

Krista Trask, chair of the group and a parent of Beachy Cove Elementary, said the implementation of full-day kindergarten doesn't make sense this year.

"It's really going on the backs of the current students that are there," she said.

"We are actually going to have three multi-grade classes right now at Beachy Cove in September, and there are a lot of schools in very similar situations."

Despite bending on the controversial deficit reduction levy on Wednesday, Dwight Ball told CBC News that no more changes will be made to the current budget.

With files from Jeremy Eaton

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