Teachers wear black to protest increased class sizes
Published Monday, March 18, 2019 5:32PM EDT Last Updated Monday, March 18, 2019 6:11PM EDT
Hundreds of teachers across Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent are taking part in a silent protest of proposed changes to Ontario classrooms.
The Progressive Conservative government last week announced plans to eliminate the cap on class sizes while reducing the province's $29-billion education budget by one per cent.
The teachers wasted little time protesting the plan, wearing black on the first day back to school after March Break.
“We have a very strong public education system and by cutting it in the way that they're suggesting it won't remain that way,” says Erin Roy, the president of Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation District 9.
Roy tells CTV Windsor her members are concerned about the planned increase in class sizes for Grades 4 to 12.
“To go from an average of 22 to 28 is just a step to far,” says Roy. “It would just cause complete chaos in the system."
Roy believes the move would result in a loss of more than three thousand public school teaching positions.
But last week, Education Minister Lisa Thompson said no teachers would lose their jobs.
“I don’t see how attrition can cover 5,000 jobs in the implementation period,” says Don Garent, the president of the local Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, who is also concerned about job losses.
The Ford government last week also announced changes to the math and sex-ed curriculums, where gender identity and consent will be taught.