(BlackburnNews.com file photo)

69 teachers given redundancy letters by Avon Maitland Board

69 secondary school teachers in the Avon Maitland District School Board have been given redundancy letters.

Those letters indicate that the board doesn’t have a position for those teachers for the next school year.

According to release from District 8 of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, or OSSTF, it represents 17% of the 410 names on the seniority list.

Provincial funding was cut to a number of programs recently, which affected a number of departments and staff including Student Success, Re-engagement Coordinator, and Learning Coaches, who worked with struggling students and provided supports for teachers working with students with special education needs.

Shane Restall is the President District 8.

“Those teachers provided invaluable support for students and connected them to their school in a way that they wouldn’t have otherwise. They provided the complex services that we expect in our world-class public education system in Ontario. Our schools will look very different in the fall,” said Restall.

“To our Board’s credit, they have chosen to follow our class size and staffing language for the 2019-2020 school year, even though they are expecting to receive basic funding at the 28:1 student-teacher ratio.”

“In our small rural Huron and Perth secondary schools, it is already difficult to offer a variety of program choices for students. These cuts will make an existing problem very much worse, or even impossible,” Restall explained. “School closures in our area are a possible long-term solution that the AMDSB will need to consider if the government’s cuts are fully realized.”

According to the OSSTF, there is a moratorium on school closures implemented by the previous Liberal government.

District 8 officials say meetings scheduled by local federation leadership with both Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece and Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson were cancelled by their respective offices.