There will be new teachers in classrooms and more money for staff who work with students with special needs to ensure all students succeed as the province invests more than $1 billion in education in 2013-14.
"We made a commitment under the Kids and Learning First education plan to do things differently and focus on making sure every student is successful," said Education Minister Ramona Jennex. "We are doing just that by increasing the funding to school boards in 2013-14. There will be new teachers hired and more money for staff who work with students with special needs. We are investing more money per student than ever before."
Boards learned today, Feb. 14, that their funding will increase to $1.047 billion in 2013-14. This means:
-- no permanent teachers will lose their jobs in any board
-- about 170 new teachers will be hired
-- class sizes for grades Primary to 3 will remain capped at 25 students, which resulted in hiring more than 70 new teachers last year
-- boards can hire 25 new program support staff, psychologists and speech language pathologists and maintain their existing complement, which otherwise would have been reduced because of fewer students enrolled next year
-- the funding allocation for teacher assistants will increase by 15 teacher assistants
There are fewer students in the province's classrooms each year. Next year, the department predicts 2,300 fewer children will be in schools across Nova Scotia. However, the province is protecting areas of largest enrolment decline, such as Cape Breton-Victoria and Strait Regional school boards, by subsidizing their funding.
Board funding reflects the province's education plan, which is one year old this month.
Under the plan, more students in grades Primary to 3 are getting early literacy help, and the math curriculum has been revised for the youngest students and Grade 10. Math 10 has also expanded to a full year. Both initiatives give students more time to learn the basics and build a strong math foundation for future years.
Also, students are benefiting from expanded skilled trades and co-operative learning programs to learn valuable work skills, and the introduction of a personal development credit to allow students to earn credits for developing skills in leadership, languages and the arts through community-based programs.