09/27/2012 02:07 EDT | Updated 11/27/2012 05:12 EST

Nova Scotia to hire 45 elementary school teachers in bid to reduce class sizes

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's government says it will hire 45 elementary school teachers in an effort to relieve pressure on class sizes.

Education Minister Ramona Jennex announced today that her goal is to reduce the student-teacher ratio in classrooms.

In a statement, the Education Department says school boards have submitted class sizes that show while most Primary to Grade 3 classes were below historic averages, some were too large.

Fifteen per cent of those classes have 25 or more students, and Jennex says she wants to keep class sizes capped at 25.

She says it isn't fair for young students to face higher class sizes because they live in an area of growing enrolment or for other reasons beyond their control.

The department did not say in their statement how much it would cost to hire the new teachers.

The government has reduced overall funding to the province's eight school boards by 1.3 per cent this year. The $13.4-million cut is on the heels of a $17.6-million reduction in funding last year.

Jennex has said the amount of money the province is spending on education reflects declining enrolment.