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Provincial memo lays out plan to cut 3,475 Ontario teaching positions in 4 years

A provincial memo obtained by CBC Toronto lays out the Ford government’s plans to cut thousands of full-time teaching positions in Ontario beginning this fall.

In the 2019-2020 school year, the memo says, there will be 1,558 fewer full-time teachers in Ontario. By the 2022-2023 school year, that number will be 3,475 — about three per cent of Ontario’s current teacher workforce.

The total savings for removing those full-time positions would be $851 million.

The memo, which was sent by the Ministry of Education to school board administrators, also clarifies that the positions will be shed through attrition — meaning teachers that quit or retire and are not replaced — as well as changing student enrolment numbers and bumped-up class sizes.

Class sizes going up

Concerns about teacher job losses have been swirling since March, when the province revealed its education plan, which includes increases to class sizes for intermediate and high school students.

The average class size requirement for Grades 9 to 12 will be adjusted to 28, up from the current average of 22.

The Toronto District School Board had predicted that the larger classes would result in about 1,000 fewer teachers in its schools.

On Friday, TDSB trustee Robin Pilkey told CBC Toronto by email that the memo doesn’t provide any new information, and that “the number of positions we anticipate being eliminated has not changed.”

It comes just one day after students across Ontario staged a province-wide protest over the planned changes to the education system.

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