Friday, January 6, 2017

Government and BCTF work out the details on 50 million dollars in returns to education

SD52 officials have not outlined
their plans as of yet for any additional
funding from the province as a result
of an agreement signed Thursday
School Districts across the province will soon be in the process of a bit of number crunching over the next week, as officials look to make use of an additional 50 million dollars, to be distributed across BC as part of an agreement between the provincial government and the BCTF yesterday.

An announcement from the Provincial government on Thursday notes that the funding is for the current school year of 2016-17 and will be the equivalent to compensation for approximately 1,100 teachers.

Though the actual number of teachers to be hired by each district will be determined by local districts, unions and the current hiring process in place.

There are three priorities outlined by the province towards the funding allocation, they include:

Hiring additional classroom teachers this school year where it is feasible to do so given current timetable, physical space and labour supply limitations. 

Hiring additional specialty teachers this school year where it is feasible to do so. This includes, but is not limited to, teachers employed as special education teachers, speech language pathologists, behaviour intervention specialists, school psychologists, Aboriginal support teachers, counsellors including for mental health, ELL teachers, and teacher librarians. 

Where it is not feasible to add additional teachers during the current school year, the funding may be used to fund district-level capacity building opportunities such as upgrading existing teacher qualifications during the 2016-17 year, teacher recruitment programs and teacher mentoring programs.

The funding agreement is the result of a recent Supreme Court ruling which was delivered in favour of the BCTF's position on past actions by the provincial government when it comes to education funding.

The BCTF noted how the developments from Thursday are just the first step in implementation of the Supreme Court Decision and offered up its own observations on the announcement through its own media release yesterday.

“Since the BCTF won our court case back in November, we have been moving forward with two goals,”  ... “The first goal was to get as many teachers as possible back into schools and classrooms as quickly as possible. This $50 million agreement is the first step. It means hundreds more teachers will be in schools working with students across the province in a matter of weeks. The second and most important goal- full implementation of the 2002 collective agreement language-will now be the focus of talks between the two parties.”

Officials from School District 52 have not as of yet outlined what impact the additional funding will have on the local school system on the North Coast.

Some School Districts in Northern BC have already outlined their plans for the funding,

Terrace -- Coast Mountain School District to hire more teachers
Prince George -- School District, Union to Start Hiring Talks next week
Prince George -- Province Commits Money to Hiring Teachers

The government's announcement can be reviewed here.

The province has posted the full package related to the memorandum of agreement online, you can review the background to the agreement here.

Some notes on the announcement of Thursday can be found below, we'll add updates to the listings as they become available:

$50 million for New Hires a 'First Step' to Restoring Contracts, Say BC Teachers
B.C. reaches agreement with teachers' union to fund hiring of up to 1,100 full time employees
Province, BCTF agree on $50M for new teachers
B.C. teachers, government reach $50 million interim deal following Supreme Court ruling
1,100 teachers to be hired in interim staffing deal
B.C. public schools to hire 1,100 teachers, counsellors, librarians
Province and BCTF reach $50M funding deal

More notes on education in the Northwest can be found on our archive page.

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