Primary class sizes to be cut while more teachers and special needs assistants hired

Smaller primary classes and the recruitment of more resource teachers and special needs assistants (SNAs) are central planks of the €8.9bn education budget for 2021.

Fianna Fáil has held good to its promise to restart the process of reducing the pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) in the most overcrowded classrooms in the EU.

It will come via an increase in the allocation of teachers to schools, with one teacher for every 25 pupils next September, down from the current 26:1, and it means an extra 307 primary teacher jobs.

While the average class size in the EU is 20, in Ireland it is 24, with one in five primary pupils taught in a class of 30 or more.

There is also a commitment to 403 special education teachers, a further 87 posts for primary schools at risk of losing a teacher because of falling enrolments, and another 268 teacher jobs, across primary

Read More

‘We Were Cut Short of His Time Here’

facebook Leo Lugo

A special education teacher in New Mexico is dead after contracting the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), according to his family.

Leo Lugo, 56, died on Sunday after he was hospitalized on a ventilator and placed in a medically induced coma, ABC affiliate KVIA reported.

The outlet reported that the Chaparral High School educator was among six relatives, including his 91-year-old mother, who tested positive for COVID-19.

“He was a great guy. We didn’t expect Leo to go like this,” his brother Mike Lugo said. “It took my brother, and it took him only a week to go.”

RELATED VIDEO: South Carolina Teacher, 28, Dies from Coronavirus 3 Days After Testing Positive

According to Lugo’s sister-in-law, every day got “worse and worse and worse until the end” for the teacher.

“This is real,” Bertha Lugo said of the coronavirus. “We were cut short of his time here.”

Lugo began

Read More

Acero charter school network should add, not cut special education positions, union says

Union leaders and their supporters are calling “unconscionable” a decision by the city’s second-largest charter school system’s to slash about two dozen special education positions.

At a time when parents are struggling with remote learning, Acero Schools has chosen to make cuts when they should be adding positions, union leaders said during a Zoom conference call Tuesday. Acero called the claim of cutting staff by half “categorically false.”

“I want to be really, really clear: Acero is choosing to cut positions that serve our most vulnerable population of students. They have told us repeatedly that this is not financially motivated,” said Caroline Rutherford, a union rep for Acero schools.

Rutherford accused Acero of saving “a few pennies on the backs of our students.”

Acero has cut 26 positions — about half of the special education jobs across the organization’s 15-school system — in recent months, union leaders said. The cuts

Read More

Charles Darwin University to cut 77 jobs, cancel 19 courses in merger of vocational, higher education

Charles Darwin University has revealed plans to cut 77 jobs – 5 per cent of its workforce – in a merger of vocational and higher education (VET) that could save the institution $10 million.

Staff at CDU were told about the proposed change on Tuesday afternoon, including a plan to cut 19 VET courses.

The scrapped courses include certificates in community night patrol, hospitality, hairdressing and business administration.

The university’s deputy vice-chancellor Meredith Parry said two independent reports had found the VET structure was “financially unsustainable”.

“This will be a difficult time for many at CDU,” Ms Parry said in a statement.

“I am acutely aware that losing a position in

Read More

Charles Darwin University to cut 77 jobs, cancel 19 courses in merger of vocational and higher education

Charles Darwin University has revealed plans to cut 77 jobs — 5 per cent of its workforce — in a merger of vocational and higher education (VET) that could save the institution $10 million.

Staff at CDU were told about the proposed change this afternoon, including a plan to cut 19 VET courses.

The scrapped courses include certificates in community night patrol, hospitality, hairdressing and business administration.

The university’s deputy vice-chancellor Meredith Parry said two independent reports had found the VET structure was “financially unsustainable”.

“This will be a difficult time for many at CDU,” Ms Parry said in a statement.

“I am acutely aware that losing a position in a national market that could see up to 21,000 university sector jobs go by the end of the year is confronting, and comprehensive staff support measures have been put in place for staff and their families.”

Ms Parry said some

Read More