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For Immediate Release
September 22, 2016

MINISTER OF EDUCATION PEDDLING IN FALSEHOODS

St. John’s, NL… The NLTA denounces the Minister of Education for peddling in misinformation and is demanding a full public retraction with regards to his public comments yesterday. The comments are false and misrepresent the NLTA’s position on full day kindergarten and call into question Mr. Dinn’s integrity and advocacy for teachers, students and the public education system.

Minister Kirby stated, “I am not surprised that this is coming from Mr. Dinn; he has been on the record from the very beginning of not wanting a full day kindergarten in this province, so this is part of his perspective, I guess. I am surprised that he doesn’t want to have better education for children or better working environment for our teachers”.

Neither the NLTA nor President Dinn have ever opposed full day kindergarten. In fact, support of full day kindergarten is and has been a long standing NLTA policy. Further to that, and as far back as April 24, 2015 in a media release titled “INCREASES IN CLASS SIZE A STEP BACKWARD”, the following statement was made by NLTA President Jim Dinn:

“The NLTA is encouraged by Government’s continued commitment to the scheduled implementation of full day kindergarten. This is welcome news for children, parents, and the education system in general.”

The NLTA has consistently stated that full day kindergarten must be fully resourced and cannot be financed on the back of the rest of the system. For Minister Kirby to say that President Dinn or the NLTA doesn’t want to have a better education system or education for children or better working environment for our teachers is unworthy of a public official and demonstrates a lack of understanding of Mr. Dinn’s and the NLTA’s legislated responsibilities.

“Either Mr. Kirby missed the point raised by teachers or this is an attempt by the Minister to detract from the real issue of placing adequate resources in the hands of teachers to do their jobs on behalf of the children of Newfoundland and Labrador,” says Jim Dinn.

For the Minister to accuse the NLTA of “peddling in ignorance” is offensive and inaccurate, especially when one considers that in partnership with Memorial University and the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils the NLTA engaged in broad public consultations on the status of public education in this province. To date, the Minister and his staff have failed to meet with the NLTA to discuss the findings and recommendations of that report.

The NLTA looks forward to Minister Kirby correcting this misinformation.

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For further information contact:
Lesley-Ann Browne, NLTA Communications, Tel: 709-726-3223, ext. 228; 682-3751 (cellular); labrowne@nlta.nl.ca