Nearly 200 Peel District School Board high school teachers received layoff notices as the provincial government moves forward with class size increases. Ontario Education Minister Lisa Thompson unveiled the province's plans to increase Ontario class sizes for grades 9 through 12, from 22 students to 28 students on average. The average class sizes for grades 4 through 8 will increase from 23 students to 24 students.
During her announcement, Thompson reassured the public that "not one teacher will lose their job" as class sizes increase. However, a statement provided to CP24 verified that the new changes to class sizes partially contributed to the approximately 200 layoff notices issued this season.
CP24 reported this morning that 176 elementary and 193 high school teachers employed by the Peel District School Board were made aware that they were being laid off. After August 31st of this year, these teachers will no longer hold permanent positions with the school board.
A spokesperson for Peel District School Board stated, "These are a result of changes to class sizes, cuts in local priorities funding and other reductions in funding."
The Toronto District School Board estimates that 216 elementary school teachers and 800 high school teachers will likely lose their jobs as a direct result of the proposed class size changes, CP24 reports.
The provincial government, however, claims that class size changes will cut 3,475 teaching positions across Ontario. Over a four year period, the Ford government is expecting the province to save a total of $851 million as a result of the job cuts.
Last week, BC's Education Minister said, "Anyone from Ontario who finds themselves looking at a BC school district that might be hiring today is more than welcome."
British Columbia has been in desperate need of teachers since encountering teaching supply shortages. The BC Teachers' Federation has noted that 300 teachers are still needed across the province to restore class sizes to 2002 levels.