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Manitoban teachers rally for better funding

by Twyla Siple, Interlake Spectator 

More than 1,500 public school teachers, principals, vice-principals and supporters attended the Manitoba Teacher’s Society Rally for Public Education at the Legislature on May 25. Pictured: Ewert stands on the steps of the Manitoba Legislative Building amidst his colleagues in the late afternoon on May 25.

More than 1,500 public school teachers, principals, vice-principals and supporters attended the Manitoba Teacher’s Society Rally for Public Education at the Legislature on May 25. Pictured: Ewert stands on the steps of the Manitoba Legislative Building amidst his colleagues in the late afternoon on May 25.

The Arborg Early Middle School plastic bag ban advocate, teacher and local environmental ally, Jay Ewert, attended the Manitoba Teacher’s Society Rally for Public Education at the Legislature on May 25. 
 
Ewert stood alongside more than 1,500 public school teachers, principals, vice-principals and supporters, as they waved their flags of solidarity, according to MTS’ website.
 
The group of Manitoban teachers and their supporters gathered to bring attention to their dissatisfaction with the provincial funding that has fallen short of the rate of inflation for two straight years, among other issues, according to its website. 
 
“This particular issue has resulted in cutbacks at the classroom level and the loss of teaching positions in some divisions. And enrolment is not decreasing, it is increasing,” its website said.
 
They said that their teachers and principals are concerned that the quality of education will be severely affected by these cuts.
 
“When education’s under attack, what do we do?” They cried. “Stand up, fight back.”
 
MTS’ online statement said that their President, Norm Gould, explained how 21 school divisions will receive less funding this year while only 16 will receive more, while speaking to the rally.
 
“This means less one-on-one time with students who need it most,” Gould said as he discussed a program that was cancelled before it was out of the five-year pilot stage.
 
The MTS rally’s intention was to remind the government that while the province eliminated mandatory class size caps in early years, as Manitoba continues to grow, classrooms continue to grow. 
 
While listing the government actions that will affect their students learning experience, the rally chimed , “Shame!” after each point.
 
Gould said that the rally showed a commitment to public education that was lacking in the current provincial government, according to its website.
 
And, he said, the rally was just the beginning of turning commitment to action.
 
“I am very proud to stand in support with public sector unions in their protests,” Ewert told The Interlake Spectator on June 5. 
 
For more information on the inadequate public education funding that MTS reps feel are resulting in cuts across the province, visit mbteach.org.


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