Coquitlam teachers and parents will rally outside two schools Tuesday in the wake of jobs cuts the district says are necessary to balance the budget in the wake of a 13-million dollar deficit.
Coquitlam Teachers’ Association president Charley King says while 632 teachers were issued layoff notices, he expects at least 90 people will not be hired back in September as the district cuts 90 positions.
“Last year we had a number of teachers on pins and needles and many teachers not recalled until the last minute, and many teachers not recalled until well into the school year, I expect it to be a really tense summer, I think there will be an awful lot of teachers that aren’t recalled by September, and I think there’s going to be an awful lot of angst out there.”
King puts the blame squarely on the provincial government.
“If you look at our community it’s growing, there is no issue of declining enrolment here; the student to educator ratio has been increased at least three times in the last decade, which means that there are more students per teacher. This is not an issue of declining enrolment; this is an issue of declining support from the provincial government for public education.”
Teachers, who are encouraged to wear black and carry a sign with their layoff number, will gather at 330pm along Como Lake Avenue between Hillcrest middle school and Dr. Charles Best.