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Board hands out layoff notices to more than 100 teachers

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Journal Staff

The public school board has sent notices to 111 full-time teachers warning they might be out of a job.

The layoff notices cover 52 elementary and 59 high school teachers.

Lower education grants tied to declining enrolment and larger class sizes announced by the Ontario government makes these “challenging times,” said Jim Costello, education director of the Lambton Kent District School Board.

“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.”

The Ford government is increasing the average class size in secondary schools to 28 from 22 students per teacher. Class sizes in Grades 4-8 will also increase marginally.

The board has a contractual obligation to inform teachers of any staffing changes, and often hires many of them back before the new school year starts.

“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 board expects details by the end of April on its student need grants. One fund used to pay for some staff positions in the past expires Aug. 31, the board said.

The final number of layoffs can also be impacted by retirements and resignations.

The board said it is continuing to talk to the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario and Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation as the staffing process evolves.

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