Ontario teachers might be in a surly mood the first couple of days after March Break, coping with the prospect of larger classes to come, and possibly job cuts.

“As we said before, larger class sizes mean less support to the individual student,” says Lori Ridley-White, northeastern regional president of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario.  She represents teachers between Hearst and Temagami. She calls larger class sizes for Grade 4 through Grade 8 “troubling”, saying it will have extra impact on kids with special needs.

Education minister Lisa Thompson says there will be fewer teaching jobs, but hasn’t said whether that will be covered through attrition.  Regardless, it worries Ridley-White.

“I believe that there’s going to be approximately – from my understanding – 4,500 positions each year over the next four years for both elementary and high school.”

She wants the province to go back and look at the education funding formula.

“It’s inadequate,” she remarks.  “It’s based on a mathematical formula.  It’s not based on what the actual needs are of our students.