Nova Scotia

Liberals slam NDP for $500K student grab bags

Nova Scotia Liberals are criticizing a plan to spend more than $500,000 on grab bags for elementary students, but the education minister considers it money well spent.

Nova Scotia Liberals are criticizing a plan to spend more than $500,000 on grab bags for elementary students, but the education minister considers it money well spent.

The bags contain books, a counting game, a magnifying glass, a music CD, magnetic letters and numbers, as well scissors, paper and glue. They will go to students entering Primary over the next couple of years.

The province has already spent $124,000 on the program. It expects to spend a total of $527,000.

Michel Samson, MLA for Richmond, said the province shouldn't spend money on orange "NDP themed" lunch bags.

He said $527,000 would ensure that some schools in the Strait region stay open or save some librarian jobs at the Chignecto-Central School Board. 

"If the minister is concerned about literacy, that $527,000 could have paid for teacher assistants and education assistants to help our children with literacy," he said Tuesday.

Education Minister Ramona Jennex defends the program.

"In a perfect world all children would have the benefit of having those things, but in the real world not all students have access to scissors and crayons and music and books," she said.

Earlier this year, Jennex announced that the funding to the eight school boards would be cut by $13.4 million, following a $17.6-million funding cut in 2011.

now