Following teachers’ landmark court win on class size and composition, B.C. School districts will soon be on a hiring spree.
But with $50-million dollars on the table, which districts will see the most new teachers?
If you’re a young teacher hoping to stay in the city, the answer may be good news.
The BC Teachers Federation says the nuts and bolts of how the cash will be split up is still being hashed out, but based on the school act it will generally flow according to enrollment.
UBC Education Associate Dean Wendy Carr says as far as hiring goes, that means urban areas will be loading up.
“Just based on district size, Surrey and Vancouver are going to have some very high needs right off the bat. Just because they are such large districts.”
Surrey schools are bursting at the seams, with more than 70,000 students, followed by Vancouver at nearly 53,000, Coquitlam at nearly 33,000, and Burnaby at nearly 25,000.
However, with that anticipated influx of new bodies, Carr says one problem districts will need to solve is where to put them.
“Space is also a big concern, in a lot of schools there simply isn’t room to hire, or to create another classroom of children. You can hire another enrolling teacher, but there may not be the space for that teacher to have a class.”
Decisions about how to spend the money, whether on classroom teachers, speciality teachers, or capacity building will be left up to each school district.
The cash is just the first instalment of what may eventually grow to a $300-million price tag, and will go to funding the equivalent of 1,100 fulltime positions.
It comes after a decade-long battle between teachers and the province after the latter tore up teachers’ contracts in 2002.
Last year, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled from the bench in teachers’ favour, demanding the province go back to class size and composition as it was 15 years ago.
Negotiations on the full implementation of that ruling are still underway.