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Calgary class sizes too high at every grade level

Teacher's union survey indicates classrooms not meeting recommended sizes

Frank Bruseker

Metro File Photo

Frank Bruseker

Calgary’s classrooms are bursting at the seams.

The results of an ATA teachers union survey reveals that at every grade, classrooms average above the recommended amount of students, especially at the K – 3 level.

The survey was conducted by the ATA Local 38, which represents teachers in the Calgary Board of Education.

According to the Alberta Commission on Learning recommendations, the average class size for a K – 3 classroom should be 17 students. The survey reveals the average to be 22.82 students.

“The provincial government, to be perfectly honest, and this goes back to the PCs of course, has not fulfilled its commitment to fund education like they said they would,” said Local 38 president Frank Bruseker.

Bruseker said larger class sizes make a difference in terms of student instruction and impact teacher workload.

The average is higher than the recommendation across the board.

ATA Local 38

The recommended for grades 4 – 6 is 23, but the survey average is 26.10. In grades 7 – 9 the recommendation is 25, but the average is 28.13. Finally in grades 10 – 12 the recommendation is 27, but the average is 29.44.

"Our government is committed to stable funding for education no matter the difficult economic circumstances we face,” read a statement from Education Minister David Eggen, who pointed out the NDP government restored funding and hired nearly 400 additional teachers and assistants.

The 2015 budget also allocated $277 million for the Small Class Size Initiative.

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