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Monday, April 13, 2015

In Case You Missed the Leaders Debate on Education...

As part of the 62nd Annual General Meeting of the PEI Home & School Federation, a Leaders Debate on Education was held on Saturday, April 11th. For those who could not attend, the debate was recorded, and a transcript prepared. These are all available online as follows:

Audio:  http://peihsf.ca/leaders-debate
Video:  http://peihsf.ca/debate-video
Transcript:  http://peihsf.ca/debate-transcript

The 11 questions that were posed to all 4 leaders were:

  1. Do you support the election of school board trustees to the English Language School Board?
  2. What qualities will you look for in your key leadership positions: the Minister and Deputy Minister of Education?
  3. We heard this morning about a group in Nova Scotia that includes unions, home & school, schools boards and the department that works collaboratively to develop a unified, cohesive plan for education. Would you commit to establishment of a similar group on PEI?
  4. The current commitment is to outfit all Island schools with wifi in 4 to 5 years. Is this soon enough?
  5. How do you propose to address the current inequities across the province with respect to French education?
  6. This morning the Home and School Federation passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a province-wide school lunch program. Will you commit to working with home and school to move this issue forward?
  7. The School Act establishes free school privileges for all students. Yet there are an increasing number of student fees, sports fees, and obligations to fundraise. What will you do to return PEI to being a leader in the provision of free, equitable education?
  8. There are many important services that are offered outside the classroom by professionals: psychologists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists. These services have long waiting lists. How will you address this?
  9. What is your position on the role of standardized testing in the education system?
  10. Our classrooms are larger and more complex than they have ever been. The school board tell us “there's no gas left in the tank” for staffing, and teaching positions continue to be cut. Will you commit to returning our schools to adequate staffing to ensure well-resourced, inclusive classrooms?
  11. Our schools range in size from 60 students to more than 1000. Do your plans include possible school closures in the future?
Many more questions were formulated as part of the morning discussion at the annual meeting. All of these questions are being collated and will be distributed shortly as an aid to inspiring discussion with local candidates. Stay tuned to the PEI Home & School Federation website for updates on those at http://peihsf.ca/.

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