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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Premier Greg Selinger Announces Further Investments into Smaller Class Sizes in Manitoba Schools
September 10, 2013
INVESTMENT IN SMALLER CLASS SIZES CONTINUES WITH 70 NEW TEACHERS HIRED FOR THIS SCHOOL YEAR: PREMIER
The Manitoba government continues to move forward on its commitment to reduce kindergarten to Grade 3 class sizes, Premier Greg Selinger said today.
“Smaller class sizes make a real difference in students’ ability to learn,” said Selinger. “Teachers have told us that smaller class sizes and investments in teaching contribute significantly to improving student achievement. Smaller classes allow teachers to individualize instruction and provide better support to students who need it.”
The province is in its second year of implementing smaller class sizes and recently announced an additional $4 million to hire teachers across Manitoba. This brings the total provincial funding for smaller class sizes to $7 million in 2013-14.
So far this year, school divisions have hired an additional 70 teachers, bringing the total number of teachers hired through the smaller class size initiative to 153 to date. Last year’s $3-million investment resulted in a 21 per cent reduction in kindergarten to Grade 3 classes with 24 or more students. As schools finalize their enrolment for this year, a number of additional teachers are expected to be hired.
Class size tracking will be updated on school division websites at the end of September when 2013‑14 enrolment is finalized.
The province has also invested more than $15 million to renovate or build 28 classrooms in six school divisions across the province through the Manitoba Building and Renewal Plan. Funding for smaller class size infrastructure is in addition to education capital funding that is building and renovating schools across the province, adding new gyms and renovating and building new science labs, the premier said. The province currently has five new schools under construction or in the design phase in Thompson, Winkler and Winnipeg.
School divisions in Manitoba are required to cap their kindergarten to Grade 3 classrooms at 20 students by September 2017. While 10 per cent of classrooms per division will be allowed the flexibility to go beyond the cap of 20 students, no classes will be permitted to have more than 23 students in a kindergarten to Grade 3 classroom.