More than 80 teachers served pink slips in April will keep their jobs in the Lambton-Kent District school board, a stunning reversal from the 111 announced layoffs earlier this year.
There will still be layoffs come September but, for now, 82 teachers in the public school board west of London will keep their jobs next fall. The news comes after much speculation the Progressive Conservative government’s decision to increase class sizes and implement electronic courses would lead to thousands of lost jobs across Ontario.
Members of the government have strictly maintained no full-time teachers would lose their jobs as a result of changes. While fewer than expected, 29 teachers in the Lambton-Kent board are still without a recall notice — a stark outlier compared to previous years.
That outlier is due to declining enrolment and changes to class size, according to Jane Bryce, chair of the board.
“I’m not sure (how many other teachers will be recalled),” Bryce said. “At one time if a teacher retired, you hired another teacher. … Now if a teacher leaves our system, you don’t just automatically refill their job because of the class size (changes).”
Other non-recalled teachers could still be rehired if senior teachers retire before the start of the next school year, Bryce said. Those not rehired will be first in line when new jobs come available.
School boards across the province finally received their Grants for Student Needs technical papers last Friday after a lengthy delay. Boards are now scrambling to finalize their 2019-2020 budgets by June 30, the deadline imposed by the Ministry of Education.
“We’ve been waiting and waiting for those technical papers,” Bryce said. “All workshops to help design the budget were all cancelled because we just haven’t had them.”
The Lambton Kent District school board is expected to finalize a budget during one of the next two scheduled school board meetings, June 11 or June 25.
More to follow.