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For Immediate Release
October 12, 2016


St. John’s, NL… The Way Forward discussions hosted by Premier Ball on October 11th offered little direction in addressing the serious mental health and inclusive education challenges facing Newfoundland and Labrador schools.

“While we appreciate the opportunity to participate in broad based discussions with other community leaders on the future of our province, we are disappointed with the narrow focus of the question and discussion on education. If we want our schools to be part of the way forward for our children, then we need to give our teachers the supports they need to address the challenges of an inclusive education system that is under resourced,” says NLTA President James Dinn. “It was disappointing to see that the only question raised at the forum regarding the K-12 system was about addressing workplace demands. Questions should have also been asked about how we can better provide for all students, and students with exceptionalities in particular, and address the growing mental health concerns in our schools.”

As a key part of The Way Forward, the Premier has established a Task Force on Improving Educational Outcomes. The NLTA is concerned the task force’s focus on test scores, new curriculum, teacher training, and health programming will do little to address the concerns teachers have raised, especially in the wake of Budget 2016. While the Sheppard/Anderson Report on the Panel on the Status of Public Education recommended a review of the current teacher allocation model to address growing class sizes, and class diversity, the Premier’s Task Force mandate is silent on the issue of teacher allocations. “How does the province expect to improve student outcomes while continuing to increase class sizes and requiring more multi-grading in schools?”.


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