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N.S. hires 190 additional inclusive education support staff

School buses are seen lined up in this undated file photograph. File / Global News

The Nova Scotia government says all of the inclusive education support position it posted have now been filled.

In a press release Wednesday afternoon, the province said all education assistant, parent navigator, autism and behavioural support specialist, school psychologist, and speech-language pathologist positions have now been filled.

“The new supports hired are over and above what already exist and this is just the beginning,” said Nova Scotia Education Minister Zach Churchill in a statement.

“We expect to add even more classroom help as we continue to reshape the inclusive education model.”

READ MORE: Nova Scotia education minister defends hiring process for education specialists

The classroom supports hired include 100 additional educational assistants and child and youth care practitioners, 70 new autism and behavioural specialists, 11 parent navigators, six school psychologists and speech-language pathologists, and three student health partnership nurses.

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A student health partnership nurse still needs to be hired by the health authority, according to the province.

WATCH: N.S. school psychologists, speech pathologists raise concerns over hiring of contract workers

Click to play video: 'N.S. school psychologists, speech pathologists raise concerns over hiring of contract workers' N.S. school psychologists, speech pathologists raise concerns over hiring of contract workers
N.S. school psychologists, speech pathologists raise concerns over hiring of contract workers – Jun 22, 2018

Churchill faced criticism earlier this year, with education specialists claiming the government was sending “mixed messages” regarding the future of employment for specific roles – namely the school psychologist and speech-language pathologist positions. Churchill stated that these positions will be non-union, where previous positions would be.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia Teachers Union accusing province of changing teacher certification system

In Wednesday’s release, the province said it has committed $15 million in funding for the 2018-19 school year toward increasing inclusive education supports.

In addition to more human resources, eight alternative education programs were added throughout the province, designed to help students who learn best in a non-traditional setting.

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— With files from Alexa MacLean

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