Rainbow board sees positive news in terms of elementary school enrolment, teacher numbers

RAINBOW DISTRICT – The news regarding any teacher cuts is apparently a whole lot better for the Rainbow District School Board (RDSB) than it is for the rest of Ontario, at least on the elementary school level, for this year.

Recently, in the Ontario Financial Accountability Officer’s report ‘Expenditure Estimates 2019-2020; Ministry of Education,’ it was reported that over the next four years, Ontario will see 10,054 teaching positions disappear. The growth rate of Ontario’s school-age population is expected to double and the provincial government’s funding levels are not expected to keep pace.

“For our board I will tell you that on the elementary level our enrolment levels are higher than what was predicted, so we are also up a total of 13 teachers this year compared to what we had estimated,” said Norm Blaseg, director of education for the RDSB, recently. “And eight of the 13 are directly due to the enrolment increase within our board (on the elementary panel). This is really good news,” he said, noting that enrolment increased by 213 students. 

“At this point we don’t have as much clarity on the secondary panel level,” said Mr. Blaseg. “But it looks as if we will remain status quo (in terms of teachers).”  He added that by October 31 the board will be able to provide confirmed numbers as to the secondary school enrolment numbers and what effects, if any, this will have on teacher numbers.