Teachers concerned about budget cuts, delays in staffing

Delays in the release of teacher numbers for the fall and cuts to the English Language School Board budget concern the P.E.I. Teachers Federation.

'Parties playing politics,' says P.E.I. Teachers' Federation president Gilles Arsenault

Gilles Arsenault, president of the P.E.I. Teachers' Federation, says a delay in knowing how many teachers will have work in September causes extra work and stress. (CBC)

Delays in the release of teacher numbers for the fall and cuts to the English Language School Board budget concern the P.E.I. Teachers' Federation.

The federation was upset when it heard the superintendent of the English Language School Board, say she has been told by government to cut at least $500,000 from the board's budget.

"The federation at this time is very disappointed that it looks like we're seeing more money being taken away from education. And at this point I think we have both political parties playing politics," said federation president Gilles Arsenault.

He added that principals usually know their teacher numbers in April and staffing plans would usually be well underway by now.

He says the delay means extra work and stress.

"And we have principals that have been working very hard all year and, at this stage of the game, they are going to be asked to work even harder and longer to be able to meet the needs of our system."

The superintendent of the school board told CBC News on Wednesday that while she was given a teacher allocation number to work with, that she had not been given permission from the premier's office to share all the needed information with her senior managers.

Education officials told CBC News, that later on Wednesday, the superintendent met with the minister and then shared the numbers with her senior officials after which the staffing work began.

Teachers' federation members have been calling the federation office voicing concerns, said Arsenault.

He says there have been a number of teaching cuts over the last three years and the system can't afford to lose a single teacher.


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