As our Nova Scotia summer starts to wane, and advertisements about “back to school” sales begin to fill the airways, I have a question.
Where is our 35 million dollars?
You remember our $35 million, don’t you? That’s the amount the Nova Scotia Government saved by cutting education budgets over the past two years. Well, according to an August 6th editorial in the Chronicle Herald, the government isn’t saving anything at all. In fact, government spending was up to 9.9 billion for the year ending on March 31, 2012. It was 9.3 billion in 2011.
So, where, exactly, did the $35 million go? It didn’t go to the schools. It wasn’t spent on students. It didn’t go on the debt (That’s up too). Yet, there it is: Gone.
Muskrat falls? Nova Scotia Power? Regional development authorities with questionable accounting techniques? (See the August 8th editorial for that one.)
This money was “saved” by eliminating upwards of 700 jobs for Nova Scotia families, by increasing the workload for Nova Scotia teachers, and by increasing class sizes for Nova Scotia students. In the name of fiscal responsibility. Yet, doesn’t fiscal responsibility by it’s very meaning dictate that a government spend less, not more? Are schools being cut so that the NDP can crow that they spent 9.9 billion instead of 9.935?
In the end of the editorial, the idea was forwarded that in order to get ourselves out of the crisis we are in, Nova Scotia needs to attract more people and be more dynamic in our economic growth. Underfunded schools will create a climate which is neither attractive nor dynamic. It’s bad enough that this government is taking money from children. The real rub is that they are obviously not doing it for any of the reasons they claimed.