Ford Government’s Changes to Education Impacting Halton Teachers

Published April 26, 2019 at 6:08 pm

It hasn’t been long since the Ministry of Education released a report outlining the provincial government’s plans to 

It hasn’t been long since the Ministry of Education released a report outlining the provincial government’s plans to change Ontario’s public education system.

This plan, as noted in a previous inhalton article, includes a stronger focus on math, STEM, and financial literacy curricula, improved skilled trades opportunities, and a provincewide ban on cellphones in the classroom.

However, the plan has already come under strong criticism for some of its aspects, one of the most notable being changes to classroom sizes.

The previous inhalton article noted that this specific aspect could result in job losses for teachers.

However, at the time of the article no job losses, or anything of that nature, had been confirmed for teachers in Halton.

Although now, according to Marnie Denton, Manager, Communication & Engagement Services, Halton District School Board (HDSB), things have changed.

“Like other school boards across Ontario, the Halton District School Board is in the unfortunate position of having to send notification of potential redundancy to staff,” Denton said in an email to inhalton. “In the past few days, elementary and secondary teaching staff received those letters.”

Although nothing is set in stone, Denton noted that around 150 elementary and 150 secondary teachers received the letters. According to Denton, this means that their teaching positions may not exist in September 2019. 

However, if job losses do occur there is still a possibility of staff members being called back in the future.

“The collective agreements our Board has with our labour partners/unions require that we notify teaching staff of the possibility of redundancy by a certain date in the year,” Denton said. “As resignations and retirements are received and staff allocations are confirmed we hope we will then be in a position to recall many of these staff.”

The HDSB anticipates further details regarding funding from the Ministry of Education by the end of April with the announcements of the Grants for Student Needs (GSN). 

“Our hope is that we will then know the full extent of these changes and the impact on our budget,” Denton said.

What do you think of provincial government’s plans to change the public education system in Ontario?

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