The Council to Improve Classroom Conditions will fund 57 new high school teachers in the 2018-19 school year and continue investments.
The council will also continue to support the 153 teacher positions created last year supporting smaller classes, complex classrooms, and attendance.
The 57 new teachers will be hired for schools outside the Halifax Regional Centre for Education. The cost in this budget year is $3.4 million to March 31, and $5.2 million for the full school year. The goal is to create greater equity across the province, given that more than two-thirds of the council’s class size funding for 2017-18 went to schools within the Halifax Regional Centre for Education.
This year, the council will also continue to:
— maintain the junior high and high school class caps by again investing $8.9 million to fund 99 junior high and high school teachers across the province. This was recommended in the Students First report on inclusive education
— fund 40 teachers to work with junior high math and literacy teachers in supporting students in complex classrooms. This is the second year for the pilot project at a cost of $3.6 million
— invest $1.3 million to fund 14 attendance support workers, who are also teachers, for the second year of that pilot project.
The council will also continue its Inspiring Schools pilot project for one more year, aimed at supporting the needs of students within complex classrooms.
This project provides grants to schools identified by the Regional Centres for Education and Conseil scolaire acadien provincial. The council received a report from participating schools, which identified additional staff being hired and benefits for students and classroom conditions.
The $2 million Inspiring Schools grants are cost-shared by the council and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
Government increased the council’s budget for 2018-2019, to $20 million, to enable it to build on work from last year. The council has $1.78 million remaining in its budget for the 2018-19.
For the remainder of this year, the council will focus its attention on advising on implementation of the report on inclusion, as well as student assessment issues, including a new policy and report card changes. The council also continues to advise on streamlining TIENET, in line with changes recommended to the program planning process in the inclusion report.