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New Democrat says some Tories don’t understand class size cap debate

John Vanthof, the New Democrat MPP for Timiskaming-Cochrane says there appears to be a “lack of understanding” on the part of Progressive Conservative MPPs when it comes to high school class sizes.

Vanthof was in North Bay listening to teachers’ concerns about proposed education cuts by the Ford government.

At one point the discussion centred on the lack of understanding some Tory MPPs have about the future shape of class sizes.

“Some government members think that 28 students is the cap,” Vanthof said after listening to the teachers.

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“That’s actually an average.  There are going to be secondary schools with class sizes much higher than 28.

Vanthof says in some instances the number of students per classroom could be 35 to 38 and he adds with that many students in a classroom it’s just a matter of time before we have a lower standard of education.

Vanthof says this scenario plays out even worse for riding like his which have a rural nature.

He’s worried that if rural schools have more students in the classroom, it means there are many empty classrooms and then it’s just a matter of time before that school is forced to close.

The NDP MPP says this scenario applies to more than his riding.

“I’m shocked that many Tories in rural ridings don’t realize what they’re doing to their own schools,” he said.

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