Sudbury

ETFO launches petition to protest possible increase in class sizes

The union representing elementary teachers in Ontario is organizing opposition to any possible increase in class sizes for kindergarten and elementary school students.

Consultation to start in Ontario looking at education

The one-day strike will close both public elementary and secondary schools unless a deal is reached before Dec. 4. (Brenna Owen/CBC)

The union representing elementary teachers in Ontario is organizing opposition to any possible increase in class sizes for kindergarten and elementary school students.

Last week, the province's education minister announced a government review on education. Through consultation, the government would look at whether caps on the number of students in kindergarten and in Grades 1 and 3 should remain the same. The review will also look at teacher hiring practices.

The current cap for kindergarten is 29 students and 23 students for Grades 1 to 3.

Barb Blasutti is the president of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario, Rainbow Teachers Local, which represents teachers in Sudbury, Espanola, and on Manitoulin Island.    

She says they've set up a petition and letter writing campaign against bigger class sizes.

"So as far as I know, every single MPP across Ontario has received letters," she said.

"The vast majority of those have been sent by parents, not educators or teachers."

Blasutti says smaller class sizes means better education outcomes.

"Everybody understands that the smaller the class size, the bigger the difference it has for the teacher's ability to interact more on a one-to-one basis with the students," she said.

"Smaller class sizes allow teachers to provide more individualized instruction and that's really what all students need."

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