PEI

P.E.I. Teachers' Federation raises questions over ELSB integration

The Prince Edward Island Teachers’ Federation president Bethany MacLeod say it still has a lot of questions about the provincial government’s takeover of the English Language School Board (ELSB).

Federation happy no teaching positions will be cut in integration process

PEITF President Bethany MacLeod says the federation is pleased there will be no cuts to teaching positions in the next school year. (CBC)

The Prince Edward Island Teachers' Federation president Bethany MacLeod says it still has a lot of questions about the provincial government's takeover of the English Language School Board (ELSB).

MacLeod said while the federation is pleased no classroom teaching positions will be lost for the next school year, it still has concerns of what the change may bring.

"Despite fewer students, there is an increasing amount of needs within our schools. Teachers are experiencing greater challenges, and more students requiring increased levels of supports," said MacLeod.

"Teachers will attest that there is a need for more teachers to provide that support, but maintaining the same number is better than losing teaching positions."

Education Minister Doug Currie announced March 30 that no teaching jobs would be lost when the government takes over ELSB. Instead, cuts will be made to administrative positions.  

There will be 32 positions eliminated in the integration of ELSB to the Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture. Of the positions being cut, 22 will be senior positions, curriculum positions and coaches, as well as an additional 10 support staff positions. 118 staff will remain in the new integrated department.

MacLeod said PEITF's concern is the dissolution of the ELSB and the cuts to positions in curriculum delivery support have more to do with cost savings than improving teaching practices and student learning.

"It's certainly possible that government has come up with a leaner way to provide those needed services, but it hasn't been determined yet exactly how that is going to get translated effectively to the school level. That is what is most important."

MacLeod also said the Island's public school system has had too many changes over the past few years and some have had a negative impact on all those involved with the English school system in this province.  

"Change can be good, but the education system has seen too many changes and that has created problems. The system needs consistency and a commitment to a direction in education and teachers aren't seeing that anymore. We need some certainty in education now.  Hopefully, these changes are the last we'll see for at least a few years."

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