News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

February 19, 2015

MANITOBA GOVERNMENT PROVIDES $3 MILLION TO HIRE AT LEAST 50 NEW TEACHERS TO SUPPORT STUDENT SUCCESS


Making Progress on Goal of Smaller Classes for Young Students: Minister Bjornson

The Manitoba government continues to create smaller classes for students in kindergarten to Grade 3 by providing an additional $3 million in new funding for schools, Education and Advanced Learning Minister Peter Bjornson announced today as he toured the brand new Amber Trails Community School.

“With smaller class sizes, teachers can give students more one-on-one time in the critical early years to improve student learning so that parents see results,” said Minister Bjornson.  “Smaller classes provide teachers more time to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each student to help them build the skills they need to succeed.”

The new funding will target schools that have some of the largest classes and bring total provincial funding for smaller classes to $13 million in 2015-16, the minister said.  The Manitoba government has significant infrastructure investments underway to support small classes with 48 classroom renovations and additions at 22 schools, and five new schools including the Amber Trails Community School.

“Our kindergarten to Grade 3 children will directly benefit from the Manitoba government’s commitment to capping class size,” said Lorelei Bunkowsky, principal, Amber Trails Community School.  “Children will develop deeper relationships with teachers, receive greater individual attention and in turn, have their learning needs met during these most important formative years in their lives.”

In 2011, the Manitoba government announced it would provide new supports to enable school divisions to cap kindergarten to Grade 3 classrooms at 20 students by September 2017.

Partnering with school divisions, more than 300 additional teachers have been hired since 2011 to create smaller classes across the province, the minister said.  He added schools have seen significant results including:

  • 353 more kindergarten to Grade 3 classes;
  • 633 more kindergarten to Grade 3 classes with 20 or fewer students; and
  • the reduction of 327 kindergarten to Grade 3 classes with 24 or greater students, representing a 52 per cent reduction in the largest classes.

“Our government continues to invest in education.  In the 1990s, cuts to education meant teachers were laid off and classrooms were overcrowded.  Some are once again calling for drastic cuts to schools’ funding, but we know that education investments will give our students the best opportunity to succeed,” said Minister Bjornson.

School divisions are required to post class sizes of all kindergarten to Grade 3 classes on their websites.  Further information on the smaller classes initiative can be found at www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/schools/.  

- 30 -