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Committee appointed to oversee class size limits

A oversight committee that includes parents, teachers, school administrators and trustees will work in partnership with government to implement a new initiative to limit class sizes to a maximum of 20 students for kindergarten through Grade 3 starting in 2012,

Education Minister Nancy Allan said the smaller classes will benefit children and families across the province.

"We know that students are more likely to succeed when they have the attention they need in their early years."

Allan added, "This team will provide the expertise, input and direction we need to implement a class size cap of 20."

Government will also work with school divisions to make an online tracking system for class sizes available on their websites so parents and other interested community members can monitor progress of this important initiative, Allan said.

The online tracking system is expected to be in place for the 2012-13 school year.

The implementation team includes representatives from Manitoba Education, the Manitoba Teachers' Society, Manitoba Association of School Superintendents, Manitoba School Boards Association, Manitoba Association of School Business Officials and Manitoba Association of Parent Councils.

They will work with the province to develop the plan and identify the requirements for new teachers and classrooms.

Funding for the initiative will include a $20-million annual investment to hire more teachers and $85 million to build more class space by full implementation.

It is scheduled to be completed province wide within five years.

"Smaller classes will give students more one-on-one time with their teachers to help them excel while allowing teachers more time to do what they do best," said Allan.