ESL boost

Board votes to boost number of ESL teachers

The Globe & Mail  JILL MAHONEY March 7, 2008

Instead of cutting its budget through staff reductions, the Toronto District School Board opted to barely trim its work force of educational assistants while also boosting the number of English as a second language teachers.

Trustees, who met Wednesday evening, also decided to phase out reading clinics, a specialized literacy program offered mostly in the old city of Toronto for pupils in Grades 2 to 6. The 19 teachers will be reassigned.

The board added 87 elementary ESL teachers and 55 secondary ESL teachers, at a cost of $11.5-million.

Trustees rejected a proposal to cut the number of educational assistants, who largely work in kindergarten classes, by almost one-third for the 2008-09 school year, which would have saved more than $7-million, which is about the amount of the board's deficit for the current year. Instead, they chose to reduce the complement to 664 aides from the current total of 691.