We want to give students the tools and support they need to succeed. That’s why every year, we work closely with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to understand what our student and program needs are in order to match funding to our region’s needs.
This year, the overall budget for education in the province increased by $44 million dollars. This is the 6th year in a row that the overall budget has increased – government is spending 30% more on education.
There are also 165 new positions created within the provincial education system, even after retirements.
There is more money and more people in every region, and the CSAP, this year.
Here is what these investments mean for students and families in our region:
- Class caps will stay in place for Grades P-12 to keep class sizes small and teacher-to-student ratios low. These are the best we’ve seen in decades, especially for specialist positions such as guidance, resource, speech language pathologists and school psychologists.
- In September, there will be 22 more support positions such as autism specialists and child and youth practitioners, in our schools. This is on top of the 29 inclusive education supports added at the start of the 2018-2019 school year. For a more detailed list of our incoming supports visit http://ccrce.ca/news/new-inclusive-education-supports-2019-20-school-year
- By September 2019, every elementary school in Nova Scotia will have access to the Reading Recovery program. This program gives students in grade 1, who are struggling with reading, more specialized support.
- By September 2019, every school will have access to SchoolsPlus. This program helps students and families make connections to support services like social work, justice, mental health and recreation services.
- In September, nine more pre-primary sites will open in our region, for a total of 31 in the Chignecto Central Region. By fall of 2020, every 4-year old in our region will have access to pre-primary.
There is so much good work happening in our schools. These additional investments made by the province will certainly compliment the efforts of individual teachers and support staff who work with our students every day to ensure success.
To view our 2019-20 CCRCE budget, visit here.
To view our Infographic Summary here.
Are there any changes to the Options and Opportunities (02) program?
No. The O2 program remains in place for students as it always has. Students will have access to field trips, job fairs, transportation, Skills Competition and all the other activities that are currently part of the program.
Are there any changes to literacy supports?
Students will always have access to additional literacy supports if needed. Ultimately, it’s important there is a mix of support available to suit individual student needs. CCRCE has maintained the same number of Early Literacy Support positions as last year. Based on student need, there have been some changes to the locations of where the support is being offered.
Will there be fewer Educational Assistants or TA’s than there were last year? Didn’t some just receive lay-off notices?
There will be more EAs in the system than last year. Regional Centres for Education and CSAP make decisions on where they are assigned based on student need.
Educational Assistants (EAs) are hired as 10-month positions per the terms of their union staffing agreements and are therefore laid off each year. Then at the beginning of each school year, once need is determined, EAs are again hired and assigned. This is part of a regular, annual staffing process.
What about the new way that funding is allocated? How does this benefit our region?
There is a new approach to funding allocation. Most of the available dollars are for fixed costs – student enrolment, staff salaries, building maintenance, heat, lights. A fraction of the funding is flexible, around 10 per cent. It can be shifted to where it will have the greatest impact for students. For example, one school may have more students requiring special supports than another so the funding or the resource (i.e. behavior support) would be assigned to the school with the most urgent need for the resource. It’s an approach that recognizes different students may need different supports in different ways.
Who do I talk to if I have a question about my child’s needs or about anything I see in the regional budget posted on this site?
As in the past, if you have a question concerning your child, the best place to start is your school. Talk to your child’s teacher or the school principal. If you have questions about the budget or about resource allocation, contact our regional office at 902-897-8900.