Rainbow Board set to lose 59 high school school teachers over next four years due to provincial cuts

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Elementary school teacher complement to be reduced by six

SUDBURY – The Rainbow District School Board (RDSB) will lose 59 high school teachers and six elementary school teachers over the next four years due to the provincial government having implemented larger class sizes, according to a report published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

‘Behind the Numbers’ recently released an interactive map based on the report, which outlines the impact these changes will have across the province, indicates a press release from the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF). It predicts what each school board in Ontario will lose in terms of teacher cuts over the next four years. 

“The report shows how both secondary and elementary teachers will be affected, and how the increase in class size now set at 25 instead of the proposed 28-1 ratio for secondary school will affect high school teachers more than for elementary schools (which will see class sizes for some grades increase by one student per class). Assuming the cuts take place, it will take place in less than four years; it will actually be two and a half years,” OSSTF District 3 president Eric Laberge told the Recorder. “They have already been starting in that direction, they (the province) dialed back from a ratio of 28-1 to 25-1, in response to what a 28-1 ratio would look like. In the summer, when it was still being proposed that there would be a 28-1 ratio, it looked as if we (OSSTF District 3) would be losing around 90 teachers. Now we are looking at a decrease of around 59 teachers we will lose.”

“No, this is not going to help students and the education system, not at all,” said Mr. Laberge. “At the end of the day if we lose any number of teaching staff it causes a ripple effect on support staff as well. The province is talking about global changes, but they are not necessarily talking about support staff funding but the cutbacks will affect educational assistants, speech language teachers and more in the system. And at the end of the day, with cuts there will be less program options in schools, and the electives that students can choose from will take a hit. And, with more students in the classroom there will be overcrowded classrooms and less individual attention paid to each student.”

The CCPA report confirmed that education workers across the system, such as support staff, social workers, secretaries, psychologists and other educational personnel will also be impacted.