Teacher Cuts will impact 170 Schools in English System: Kirby
Dale Kirby, Opposition MHA responsible for Education and Early Childhood Development, is concerned about the impact the reduction in teaching units will have on our education system for the upcoming school year. Last April Government announced a cut of 77.5 teaching units for the coming 2015-16 school year. However a recent Access to Information request reveals that teacher allocations in the English School District will impact almost 65% of schools in the province, with 170 schools losing teaching units.
“Information provided by the English School District indicates that the change in teacher allocations is more extensive than first thought,” said Kirby. “In the Eastern Region 78 schools will be impacted, and another 92 schools will see cuts in Central, Western & Labrador regions of the province.”
On April 24th Government reduced teaching units as part of budget deficit measures. The cuts are combined with a change to class cap sizes in grades 4-9, of either an additional one or two students per class. Kirby noted that the impact of fewer teachers is still unknown and it will likely be even greater now that 170 schools are being affected.
“Some schools are losing as many as five or more teaching units. In some cases a unit can be more than a single teacher. It is very likely that students will return to school in September with far fewer teachers on staff than they had in June,” said Kirby.
Kirby noted that some of the schools seeing the greatest impacts from the cuts are in heavily populated communities like Corner Brook, Mount Pearl, St. John’s, Clarenville, and CBS. These schools combined will lose 23 teaching units in the upcoming 2015-16 school year.
“The Davis Government has again failed to gauge the full impact their budget cuts will have on the education of our children. Teachers will return to school in September with fewer resources, larger classes and a heavier workload – a clear recipe for failure,” said Kirby. He pointed to the commitment from Opposition Leader Dwight Ball of a Premier’s Task Force on Improving Education Outcomes as the right approach to creating a better education system for our students.