Deputy Leader and Temiskaming-Cochrane MPP John Vanthof says increased class sizes with hit northern and rural secondary schools particularly hard.
“On average the class size right now in my riding is around 20, if not under, so if you’re going to make class sizes up to 28, and only provide funding for class sizes up to 28 means small schools will not be able to provide full course compliments,” says Vanthof. “They’ll have to stack different levels of learning and different courses in the same class and long term that’s not going to work.”
With plans for more online courses and e-learning, access to broadband internet is also a concern.
“The reason that many of us in rural Ontario don’t have access to broadband internet is because quite frankly, it doesn’t pay the providers to do it, they’re only going to go to places where they make money, and I don’t blame them, that’s the way the private sector works,” Vanthof says. “There has to be a strategy in place. It’s an essential service, the government itself is saying its an essential service because you can’t get a high school education without it.”
Vanthof says the cuts are particularly surprising since many Conservative MPPs come from rural communities, and should understand the challenges facing schools in their own riding.