Researcher says 199 teachers to be cut from English boards in northeastern Ontario
Province moving in wrong direction with bigger classrooms and fewer teachers says researcher
Over the next five years, there'll be more students in Ontario's high school classrooms and fewer teachers on the payroll.
According to an Ottawa think tank, the average number of high school students in the province is expected to increase from 22 to 28 in a classroom.
Ricardo Tranjan is a political economist and senior researcher with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
He analyzed projected teacher job losses over the next five years.
According to Tranjan, English public school boards in northeastern Ontario will lose 199 teachers, mostly by attrition. He projects that 63 positions will be cut from the English Catholic boards in the region.
Tranjan's analysis projects that the Rainbow District School Board will lose 65 teaching positions, 59 of which are in high schools.
Tranjan says these losses are the result of two policy changes to education in Ontario. One is the provincial government's pledge to increase class sizes from Grades 4 to 8 and from 9 to 12.
The other is mandatory e-learning. High school students will have to take one credit per year online.
Understanding local impact
Tranjan says the impetus for his analysis was to provide people with local numbers of projected teacher job losses.
"Sometimes we hear the numbers at the provincial level and then people might have a hard time understanding what that will mean for them locally and how those numbers will be distributed," he said.
"Class sizes in Ontario both in elementary and secondary levels are on the larger side of the spectrum when we compare to other provinces and states in the United States," said Tranjan. He also remarked that research shows an increasing number of students with special needs.
"We should be moving in the other direction. We should be giving students more support and adding more staff inside the classroom so that students get the support they need and teachers have a manageable class size."
With files from Jessica Pope