Class sizes balloon while PCs refuse to add teachers

EDMONTON – New Democrat Leader Rachel Notley pointed to recent data collected by the Alberta Teacher’s Association that shows class sizes across the province have ballooned over the last 5 years, some by over 23%.

“This new data shows what families have been telling us for years. Schools are overcrowded and under-resourced and students are not getting the one-on-one attention they need and the problem is getting worse,” said Notley.

The data compares current class sizes across Alberta to class sizes five years ago. Some of the most dramatic increases include a 23.6% increase to grade 10-12 class sizes in Calgary School District and an 18% increase in K-3 class sizes in Lethbridge School District.

“When these increases are paired with the reduction in supports for special needs children, it becomes clear that the learning environment in our classrooms is deteriorating,” said Notley.

“Teachers are doing the best they can, but there is no doubt the quality of education these kids are receiving is being impacted by the size of their classes and being exacerbated by the 12,000 new students starting at Alberta schools, with no new teachers,” said NDP Education critic Deron Bilous.

“The PCs are failing to protect our children with the tools they need to succeed in the future. It’s clear that the things that matter to Alberta families are not the things that matter to this PC government, said Notley.