We must give educators more support
A few weeks ago I spoke in the legislature to celebrate music teachers in the province, such as Rena Lawrence-Brown, who has taught music in Transcona to hundreds of students, including my children. They still talk about her interactive teaching style and how she met kids at their starting point and built a vibrant program that was inclusive of student needs. We need more music teachers and teachers of all kinds to support our children become their very best.
Sadly, like all educators, music teachers are feeling the strain of this government’s persistent underfunding of to our education system. It will take years to recover from the cuts made to our schools. Teachers do so much for our kids but they have had to make do with less due to less and less funding and resources.
One way that we could help both students, their families and teachers is through the establishment of a universal nutrition program. We know that tens of thousands of students arrive at school hungry every day. We also know that children do better at school when they are not hungry. A universal nutrition program would ensure students have what they need to do their best. We have long called for such a program. Unfortunately, the Progressive Conservative government has shown time and again that they’re just not listening to the priorities of Manitobans who believe that healthy, nutritious meals will support kids at school.
Last month, I introduced a bill to require the education minister to report annual information about how many students are using nutrition programs that currently exist. We need this information so that we can understand the extent of child hunger in our schools and any trends as to which areas have the most need. The PC government refused to support or even vote on my bill.
Others are noticing concerns in our schools. Manitoba’s auditor general recently surveyed school leadership. The overwhelming majority do not believe that this government will do what’s right to help our kids recover from the pandemic. This government has broken trust with families and educators. They want a new approach. They want smaller class sizes supported by sufficient resources that help our kids succeed. The Manitoba NDP caucus will keep fighting for you and Manitoba’s children.
Do you have a concern about education? If so, I want to hear from you. Please call my office at 204-594-2025 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcona constituency report
Nello Altomare is the NDP MLA for Transcona.