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Ontario rejects TDSB pitch to cut class size, wants to maintain full-day

TORONTO — Ontario says it rejected a Toronto school board’s plan to cut class sizes because it limits the amount of time students will spend in the classroom.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the government wants to “maximize” classroom time for children while still creating safe conditions during the pandemic.

On Friday, the province rejected a Toronto District School Board proposal that would have reduced elementary school class sizes to between 15 and 20 students.

It required hiring new staff and shortening the school day by 48 minutes, pushing teacher prep time to the end of the day.

Lecce says the government wants to maintain a full 300-minute school day.

The board did not immediately respond to a request for comment today, but will meet Tuesday to discuss next steps.

Meanwhile, Ontario is reporting 99 new cases of COVID-19.

The province also reported 83 more resolved cases of the virus today.

The total number of cases now stands at 40,745, which includes 2,789 deaths and 37,036 cases marked as resolved.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said 31 of Ontario’s 34 public health regions reported five or fewer cases.

Elliott says 21 health units reported no new cases at all today.

The province completed more 25,567 tests in the previous day.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 17, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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