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TDSB says 300 high school courses axed due to funding cuts

Last Updated May 17, 2019 at 11:28 pm EDT

The Toronto District School Board says over 300 classes will be cut this fall as a result of increased class sizes and funding cuts announced by the Ford government.

In a detailed list released Friday afternoon, the TDSB says a total of 350 courses will be axed while another 304 courses will go ahead but with much larger class sizes.

“As a result of provincial changes to secondary class size averages from 22 to 28 over the next four years, secondary schools in Toronto have already had to make difficult decisions about what courses or supports they can no longer offer beginning this September,” the TDSB says in a statement posted on its website.

Among the changes, 22 sections will only offer university bound courses, 58 have been turned into multi-grade classes, and 58 library sections have been cancelled, resulting in library closures during the school day.

The TDSB says all compulsory courses will be offered and when a section of a compulsory course has been cancelled, all remaining sections of that course will be larger. But some graduating students could find themselves unable to take some of their university prerequisite courses at their own school. It’s unclear what if any accommodations the TDSB will make in those cases.

A number of credit recovery courses and literacy courses have been also cancelled, while some guidance supports and International Baccalaureate program supports will also be hit.

The list also reveals 133 electives will be cancelled for Grade 9 and 10 classes while 414 electives are being cancelled for Grade 11 and 12 classes.

“The staffing reduction has not only impacted course selection, but will also result in fewer supports for students who need them.”

The news comes as the TDSB is looking at a number of proposals to try and eliminate a $67-million budget shortfall — $42 million of which was caused by a cut from the Ontario government.

Premier Doug Ford disputed the board’s figures, saying earlier this week that the TDSB has not been fiscally responsible and that the board’s claims are nothing more than “scare tactics.”

Impact of Class Size Average Increase: Secondary Course Selection by CityNewsToronto on Scribd

Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report