PEI

Parents at rural P.E.I. schools worried about teacher cuts

As the province finalizes the reallocation plans for the next school year, some rural school parents are hearing disturbing news about possibly losing positions to urban centres.

Reallocation could see teachers move from rural to urban schools

Some parents at rural P.E.I. schools are worried that the upcoming teacher reallocation will send teachers from their communities to urban areas. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Parents at some rural P.E.I. schools are worried there will be fewer teachers in their classrooms next year.

The province is currently working with local principals to decide staffing needs around the Island.

Southern Kings Consolidated will lose almost two and a half positions by this fall, according to Ashley Higginbotham, co-president of the home and school association.

That may be in line with the provincial target ratio of teachers to students, but it also may mean fewer opportunities for students, including things like library or gym classes, she said.

"Unfortunately when you get into the more rural schools, you still have to have a certain amount of teachers to address the curriculum and all of the other items that need to be done in an average school day," said Higginbotham. "My concern is that with 2.34 less teachers, is our school really going to be able to do that?"

First parents at Georgetown Elementary were worried about losing their school altogether, now they fear losing teaching positions. (Laura Meader/CBC)

A parent at Georgetown Elementary, Melvin Ford, is also concerned about the number of teachers at rural schools.

"There is no possible way that we deserve to have teaching positions taken from our communities to better service the city schools," said Ford. "We deserve the same programming."

Education critic Steven Myers is calling on the provincial government to release specific numbers on next year's teaching staff, and where they'll be placed.

In an emailed statement, the province said teachers will be assigned to schools based on population needs, and that the numbers given to principals are preliminary and could change.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story incorrectly quoted the P.E.I. Teacher's Federation as saying it believes at least 20 teachers will move from rural to urban schools. In fact the Federation had not yet been informed about about teacher movements from school to school.
    May 25, 2017 1:53 PM AT

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