We are heading into a new sitting in the legislature after a busy beginning to the fall season and I am looking forward to once again being the representative for Hammonds Plains - Upper Sackville and voice for what matters to us here in our backyards. Your government will be working hard to put legislation on the table that will make lives of Nova Scotians better.
We're almost through two months of school and improvements being made make this year a better one. You may have heard back in the end of September that we are increasing per-student funding. We're expanding programs to help children with reading and the most important part -- we are committed to solving the issue of class sizes in growing communities such as ours. I have heard from many of you about this issue; please be rest assured that your voice has been heard.
I stood with the Minister of Education at Hammonds Plains Consolidated School to announce that the government will hire 45 new elementary school teachers immediately. We recognize that keeping class sizes low gives our youngest students the early attention and support they need. More teachers in our classrooms and smaller class sizes for students in grades Primary to Grade 3 means every student will have an opportunity to be successful.
This month, school boards submitted class sizes. Those numbers showed that most Primary to Grade 3 classes are well below historic averages, but some were too large including those in our communities of Hammonds Plains, Middle and Upper Sackville. While 85 per cent of Primary to Grade 3 classes across Nova Scotia have fewer than 25 students, some classes are simply too big. We needed to take action. We said that we would keep class sizes low, and we are doing exactly that. It is not fair for young students to face higher class sizes because they live in an area of growing enrolment or other reasons beyond their control.
The new school board data shows that about 50 new teachers are needed to ensure no Primary to Grade 3 classes exceed 25 students. School boards will begin reducing class sizes. To ensure they remain low, the province will require school boards to cap the number of students at 25. Reducing class sizes will mean changes in class make-up. I have already seen that schools in our constituency are benefiting from this investment and we ask that parents, students and teachers work together to ensure a smooth transition to smaller classes.
As we return to the legislature again this fall, your government will continue to stand up for all Nova Scotians. We have accomplished a lot together but there's always more to do. If you have any thoughts, ideas or visions on how we can make Nova Scotia a better place to live, work, play and do business, as usual, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 864-5310 or email@example.com.