Lambton Kent District School Board notifies 111 teachers of staffing changes
An empty classroom is seen in this file photo. (The Canadian Press)
Published Wednesday, April 17, 2019 11:09AM EDT
More school boards are making changes to staffing levels in anticipation of cutbacks from the provincial government.
The Lambton Kent District School Board (LKDSB) says it has notified 111 full-time equivalent teachers regarding potential staffing changes.
The number of layoff notices includes members of two employee groups -- 52 Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario members and 59 Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation members.
The school board says it is anticipating a significant reduction in Ministry of Education grant funding due to the provincial government plan to increase class sizes.
That plan would increase class sizes to 28 students per teacher from 22 along with requiring students to take four e-learning courses beginning in the 2020-2021 school year.
The board says declining enrolment also plays a factor in the layoff notices.
“These are challenging times and we understand that these funding changes will have a direct impact on programming, particularly in our rural schools which are experiencing a significant decline in enrolment,” said Director of Education Jim Costello. “In the past, LKDSB has made staffing adjustments to accommodate declining enrolment; however, the number of notifications for this year is higher than in previous years.”
The LKDSB says it is currently awaiting the specific details regarding the funding allocations for the Grants for Student Needs. That is anticipated by the end of April.
The Ministry has also affirmed that the Local Priority Funding, an allotment that has been used in the past to fund some staff positions, will expire August 31, 2019.
“The priority for senior administration remains focused on providing and maintaining as many classes as possible in our schools for our students,” added Costello.
The news comes one week after the Greater Essex County District School Board issued “redundancy notices” to nearly 100 elementary teachers.
“Redundant means that they're no longer on the staff list that they're currently on but instead will be used in temporary assignments,” said John Howitt, the Superintendent of Education.
The teachers will retain full salary and benefits for the year, and their jobs will be subject to change in September.
The GECDSB also blamed the provincial plan to increase class sizes in the fall for the notices.
The Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board says a decision about its staffing levels will be made in May.