Dear Premier Dexter,
cc. Stephen McNeil; Jamie Baillie; Ramona Jennex; Kelly Regan; Karen Casey
I am writing you to ask you to reconsider the proposed 22% cuts to the NS Education Budget over the next three years. In fact, I would like to see an increase in the education budget instead.
As the advocates for “Today’s Families” in the election that brought your government to power, I find it mystifying that these cuts could even be proposed, never mind actually implemented. Already, Nova Scotia lags behind other jurisdictions in terms of the educations we provide our children. Already, Nova Scotia lags behind other jurisdictions in its attempts to stem the flow of outmigration. Already, Nova Scotia lags behind other jurisdictions in its ability to attract business, immigration, and the professionals necessary to a healthy, educated and progressive society. Already, already, already. Education is the central pillar, and your government would have us lag a further 22%.
As the father of two autistic children whose needs in the classroom already go unmet, I am concerned that these so-called paper cuts are going to have very real consequences in the very real world.
There is a theory that you have never actually planned to implement the 22% cuts, that it is a scare tactic designed to cow the Teacher’s Union into reducing its demands or to cow we parents into accepting a lesser cut of, say, 10-15%. If this is the case, I can assure you we parents will not be cowed, and the shame you bring upon yourself by playing politics with the future prospects of our children will be felt forcefully at the ballot box in the next election. Your chickens will, indeed, come home to roost.
Mr. Dexter, I ask, beg, insist, that you abandon your plans to make up your budgetary shortfalls at the expense of our school system. Today’s families are today’s voters, the kids in these families are tomorrow’s, and we all have long long memories.