Education funding cuts affect success of future generations

Opinion

To the Editor:

In Nova Scotia, we have an abundance of natural resources but if I’m to be honest, I believe our greatest natural resource is our future generations. The best way to nurture our future is through a strong education system that puts the needs of students first and one that values those individuals who have dedicated their professional lives to making sure students have their best opportunities to succeed.

So why is it then that Nova Scotians are finding out in dribs and drabs about funding cuts to schools and programs around the province? Over the last few weeks, teachers in HRM started to learn that some O2 program was losing funding.

Let’s stop and consider how distressing this type of news would be. The Options and Opportunities program is a program that offers high school students alternatives and guidance through exposure to vocational trades. This is critical exposure for these students as they prepare to find their way in the world. In fact, it’s these types of investments that set students — future generations — up for success.

Deep down the Education Minister must know to cut a problem like this would be absurd because he was quick to revert to political spin and deny “rumours” of funding cuts. He went so far as to accuse the Opposition and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union of spreading misinformation.

Yet on the Friday before the May long weekend, he revealed in an interview with CBC that there would be “changes” to the education funding model. You may know this type of behaviour as attempting to covering one’s tracks or close the barn door after the fact.

The changes to the education model may ultimately prove positive for our education system overall. But, how would we know?

A simple reality also exists: if a child’s school is losing funding because that money is going somewhere else in the province — that’s a cut no matter how the Minister serves it up.

After all, with our greatest resource at stake, it’s not something we can leave at chance.

Tim Houston, Leader

Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia