Here is the letter I wrote to my MPP:
I hope you and your staff are doing well in this sudden cold weather. Although I have not yet heard back from my email earlier this week, I do have some pressing concerns I would like to bring up here.
I have two children that will be starting school soon. One this year, and the other in a few years. I was relieved when Lisa Thompson said that no decision has been made to remove the hard cap on kindergarten class sizes.1 But the fact that it’s an open question is very distressing.2 There are reports from around the world that too many students in a class is dangerous, such as Nordic Science has reported.3 These show health problems for both teachers and children. Already in Ontario the Hamilton Spectator reports the noise of large kindergarten classrooms is at dangerous levels.4
Some Studies, like from DIW Berlin, show that low class sizes are critical in increasing educational outcomes.5
As written by the Globe and Mail, there are other serious concerns about increased class sizes, especially at the kindergarten level.6 Children who fall behind cost a lot in remedial support. Children without enough full time adults in the room at every moment will have increased injuries and damage property. And that’s assuming none of the students are trying to cause problems.
- Too many kindergarten students in one class will increase noise levels to an unsafe amount. Do you think this is acceptable for our children or for government employees charged with their care?
- Do you believe that to protect students, class sizes at all education levels should have a hard cap?
- The Canadian Teacher’s Federation reports that violence is increasing in classrooms across Canada.7 Do you believe too many students in a class is leading to unruly behaviour, accidents, bullying and occasional assault and battery among effectively unsupervised children is increasing?8
- Educational success is linked to fewer students in a class. Will you fight for smaller class sizes lead by at least one teacher? Perhaps more support like designated early childhood educator (DECE) and educational assistant (EA) staff, as needed.
- Ontario now integrates more students with special needs in the classroom that were not allowed in class room 50 years ago. Do you believe we must support both the mainstream students and the students with special needs with more support? Specifically, with designated early childhood educator (DECE) and educational assistant (EA) staff.
- There are often trade-offs when trying to cut expenses. If you cannot cut expenses without sacrificing the education and/or safety of my children, will you continue with the current system, or will you cut spending?
- Studies show increased class sizes will lead to more students falling behind. If we increased class sizes at later grades, how will remedial studies be administered? Won’t that cost more?
- Ontario’s students are well regarded across North America. That is why Google and Microsoft hire directly from our universities, and have campuses here. Our success is because of the hard work of very qualified staff. Teachers must have two degrees including a B.Ed. EAs and DECEs are likewise also well-educated to fill their roles. Will you fight to keep these resources are available to all students across Ontario?
Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.
- Ontario education minister says no decisions made yet on removing class size caps
- Class size, teacher hiring part of new education consultations, leaving one teachers union wary
The Toronto Star
- Kindergarten and preschool workers report more hearing problems than others
- How many kindergarten students is too many?
The Hamilton Spectator
- Removing caps on class sizes is a failure of both education and economics
Globe and Mail
- Lack of resources and supports for students among key factors behind increased rates of violence towards teachers
Canadian Teacher’s Federation
- ‘It’s not reasonable’: Ottawa teachers dismayed over move to revisit class sizes