Nova Scotia classrooms need expanded class caps and 139 new teachers: report

A council to improve classroom conditions in Nova Scotia's public schools is recommending expanding class caps to junior and senior high schools and the hiring of at least 139 new teachers as part of 40 recommendations for the next school year.

In a report released Friday, the council says it has allocated $9.3 million of its $20 million budget over two years to address the initial recommendations.

Under the recommendations the class cap for junior high would be set at 28 students, with flexibility to expand that number to 30, requiring the hiring of 49 teachers at a cost of about $2.9 million.

The high school cap would be set at 30 students with flexibility to expand to 32, requiring the hiring of 50 teachers at a cost of around $3 million.

Another 40 teachers would be hired at the junior high level for a $2.4 million pilot project to support math and literacy skills in classrooms with high numbers of special needs students.

The council was established after the province imposed a contract on its 9,300 unionized teachers in February, following a lengthy contract dispute.