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Budget 2014: Province Announces Funding for 21 New and Expanded Classrooms to Support Smaller Class Sizes

March 12, 2014

Investment will ensure More One-on-one Attention for Students: Minister Allum

The Manitoba government continues to support the creation of smaller kindergarten to Grade 3 class sizes with the second phase of its plan to add additional classrooms across the province, Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum announced today.

“This investment in smaller class sizes will give students more one-on-one time with their teachers, which will help to build a strong foundation for future learning and ensure students can succeed academically,” said Minister Allum.  “Smaller class sizes in early grades enrich and enhance learning, and the benefits last throughout a student’s educational path.”

The minister announced an investment of over $12.4 million to renovate or build 21classrooms in eight schools across the province.

“The Winnipeg School Division is pleased with the continued support from the Manitoba government to reduce class sizes in schools,” said Suzanne Hrynyk, chair, board of trustees, Winnipeg School Division.

In 2011, the province announced it would provide new supports to enable school divisions to cap kindergarten to Grade 3 classrooms at 20 students by September 2017.

Since then, partnering with school divisions, 213 additional teachers have been hired to directly reduce large classes across the province.  Schools have seen significant results including:

  • 225 more kindergarten to Grade 3 classes;
  • 437 more kindergarten to Grade 3 classes with 20 or fewer students; and
  • the reduction of 261 kindergarten to Grade 3 classes with 24 or more students, representing a
    41 per cent reduction in the largest classes.

“Students learn in different ways and, with smaller classes, teachers can reach each student individually,” said Minister Allum.  “Small classes create a climate for learning and surround students with attention and encouragement.  By building or renovating these classrooms, the Manitoba government is helping students improve their reading, writing and math skills.”

The province recently announced in Budget 2014 an additional $3 million to hire teachers across Manitoba.  This brings the total provincial capital funding for smaller class sizes to $39 million in 2014-15, which includes $10 million in funding to hire new teachers and $29 million for capital investments, Minister Allum said.

He also noted funding for smaller class size infrastructure is an addition to the province’s education capital funding that is building and renovating schools across the province, adding new gyms and renovating and building new science labs. The province currently hassix new schools under construction or in the design phase in Thompson, Steinbach and Winnipeg.

Since 1999, the Manitoba government has invested more than one billion dollars in public school capital projects including 21 new schools and 14 replacement schools, and has completed extensive renovations and additions to dozens of existing schools.

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