GNWT politely points out Yellowknife school boards cannot count

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Yellowknife, NWT – The Government of the Northwest Territories says complaints by Yellowknife school boards regarding the cost of junior kindergarten contain “critical factual errors”.

Last Friday, Yellowknife Catholic Schools and the YK1 school board published a joint statement claiming the introduction of junior kindergarten – scheduled to take place in the city by 2016 – would cost upwards of $4 million, cumulatively, over three years.

However, the boards have now been forced to accept their math was wrong.

To reach that $4 million total, the boards inadvertently counted some figures three times and others twice.

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The real total, the GNWT has pointed out, should be a shade under $2 million.

The YK1 board said it “stands corrected on the bottom-line numbers”.

In a statement, Jackson Lafferty – the education minister – said: “While I welcome continuing public debate on something as important as public education, I am troubled by the erroneous numbers used.

“I think it is our collective responsibility to ensure we support a well-informed debate about who should have access to education and how it should be funded by providing objective and correct facts.”

School boards maintain that the introduction of junior kindergarten without substantial additional funding – schools are instead being asked to ‘reprofile’ funding to meet the cost – amounts to a reduction in funds available for the education of older children.

(Moose FM is culpable in not catching the error in the boards’ initial $4 million figure, prior to publication of an earlier story. That story has been amended accordingly.)

CJCD Moose FM News

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