HALIFAX – Progressive Conservative Education critic Chris d’Entremont is calling on NDP Education Minister Ramona Jennex to stop smearing school boards, and sit down with them to discuss the fiscal reality they will be facing.
d’Entremont is responding to information from the Department of Education regarding accumulated surpluses. These surpluses arose over many years, and include funds from a variety of restricted sources.
“This is clearly an underhanded attempt by the government to detract from the greater issue at hand here – the NDP plan to cut 22 per cent from the budgets of school boards this year,” said d’Entremont. “Rather than undermine the credibility of school boards and their representatives, this Minister should show some leadership and start a discussion about the real numbers with boards.”
Funds raised by schools for their own use are included in an accumulated surplus, something d’Entremont claims is clearly misleading.
“It would seem the Minister’s use of accumulated surpluses as a measuring stick is meant to be misleading,” said d’Entremont. “I think that any Nova Scotian who gave their hard-earned money to an elementary school fundrasier would be shocked to hear that money is now being used to exploit the local school board.”
“The sooner this NDP government and Education Minister stop the smear campaign and get to the table for a factual discussion, the better off the education system will be,” said d’Entremont. “When the facts are not on the table, and rumors are circulating, the only people that lose are our children.”