Opinions expressed on this blog are my own and do not represent any other organization or affiliation I may have.

Tuesday 3 April 2012

What Bill 22 does to Class Size & Composition

Staff Room Confidential broke down the numbers and the possible risks:

The formula for additional compensation basically calculates a "cost per student" by taking the average teacher salary and dividing by thirty. So, if the average teacher salary is $60,000, then the cost per student is $2000. Thus, a teacher who has 32 students enrolled in a class all year full time would be paid an additional $2000 per student, which in this example would be $4000. The formula also only pays nine of the ten months of the school year (so the actual amount paid would be $1800), and does not take into account additional costs such as benefits and overhead costs.

What does this mean?

It means that for any given grade or subject area, it is cheaper for a District to overload classes than to hire additional teachers. If an extra 29 students can be spread around into oversize classes, that will be $2000 less than the salary of an additional teacher. Not until a whole additional class of 30 is reached does it become economically equivalent to hire another teacher. Anything less, and the cheaper option is to overload.

Consider, for example, a school with 105 Grade 6 students. The cost of having three classes of 35 would be $210,000 (based on the $60,000 average salary). The cost of having four classes - three of 26 and one of 27 - would be $240,000.

Not only is Bill 22 likely to lead to increased class size, up to as much as in the 50's potentially, but it will also lead to fewer teachers. Consider the example above where the school creates 3 classes of 35 instead of the 4 smaller classes. This also means for the existing 4 teachers, now only 3 are needed. If you spread this across the District, a worst case scenario would see up to 25% of teachers lose their jobs. Now this is not likely to happen immediately, but remember that in the first year after Bill 28 came into effect, approximately 2500 teachers province wide lost their jobs - close to 10% of the contract teachers currently employed. Given that the budget for school Districts next year does not include an increase to even cover inflation, it is reasonable to expect at least 3-5% job losses, if not more.

This frustrates me, not only because my daughter is in Grade 3 and has over crowded classes to look forward to, but because as a "new teacher" (wrapping up my 6th year as a TTOC now) I fear even longer waits to get my own classroom.

My daughter required extra help last year with her reading. This year she didn't get that help because there was only enough room for 3 students from her class and she wasn't "the most needy"

What will happen when her class size increases? What if you child needs extra help... how will they get it when they have to "compete" for attention?

I hate Bill 22. I don't get how anyone can see any value in this Bill?

I have heard some say "well there is some money coming back into public education" but that "money" is not even CLOSE to what has been taken away....

It is so upsetting that THIS is the future for my children and for my colleagues and for my career!

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