School has started, but it’s not too late for governments to listen to the experts (teachers, medical professionals, parents) and make plans to transition to smaller classes now before a second wave hits us and forces us to shut down schools entirely, writes Molly Hurd.

Press release: NSTU President Paul Wozney says schools are currently in a state of chaos and aren’t ready to welcome students back next week. He says the Regional Centres for Education (RCEs) and the Conseil Scolaire Acadien Provincial (CSAP) are entirely focused on trying to promote the government’s unsafe return to school plan to the public. As a result the basic things that should take place on the ground to prepare schools for learning just aren’t happening.

The provincial government is engaged in an orchestrated effort to move education jobs out of the union sphere. 1000 school principals, 200 or more school psychologists and speech and language pathologists, social workers and new positions in the expanding Schools Plus program will no longer be unionized. “While this may be a less sensational way of weakening the unions than, say, imposing wage freezes and concessions that force teachers and other education workers out onto the picket line, it poses no less a threat to their very existence,” writes John McCracken.

“What our provincial education system needs is leadership that is willing to make the needs of students, teachers and principals a priority. By adopting the Glaze report, Education Minister Zach Churchill has demonstrated the exact opposite,” writes NSTU president Liette Doucet.

Liette Doucet, president of the NSTU, on the current pre-election spending spree by premier McNeil: “After years of watching our schools deteriorate in the name of fiscal restraint, this new found spending largesse is another betrayal of trust. To teachers it also appears as though the government is funding its pre-election campaign at their expense–and their students’ expense.”