The PC government will be putting up $1.6 billion to prevent Ontario teacher layoffs as a result of the changes to classroom sizes. The Ford government had announced back in March that Ontario's high school class sizes would be increasing. They reassured Ontario's education workers that no teachers would be laid off as a result of the change. However, teachers' unions remained unconvinced and estimated that nearly 5,000 of the province's education workers would lose their jobs over the next four years as a result of the changes.
In fact, since the announcement over 200 Peel District School Board high school teachers have received layoff notices. According to a report by CP24, a 176 elementary and 193 high school teachers employed by the Peel District School Board were notified that they would be losing their permanent teaching positions as of August 31st.
This Wednesday, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) reported that the Near North School Board is expected to issue layoff notices to over half of their high school teachers. The union president says that the layoffs would lead to "disastrous consequences" for students.
Ontario's $1 billion investment is set to be announced on Friday - it will reportedly go towards ensuring that no teachers are laid off due to increased class sizes. According to CityNews, Ford's government will also be announcing other school board fundings, including the Grants For Student Needs.
School board funding is expected to receive a boost from last year. However, according to a government source who spoke with The Canadian Press, the rise in funding will not be a substantial one.
Ford's government has faced widespread protests over their changes to education. A massive protest occurred this month at Toronto's Queen's Park where hundreds came together to voice their concerns about the education changes:
@Glenkicksass It’s so normal to feel helpless. The truth is that everyone can take up space, make protest signs, ha… https://t.co/EMjz1oYqdl— Terra Lightfoot (@Terra Lightfoot)1555950159.0
Education Minister Lisa Thompson has also reassured the province that no teacher would lose their job over the changes. Perhaps this $1 billion investment means that the provincial government would make good on this promise.