British Columbia

Province injects cash into education programs to address teacher shortage

54 B.C. school districts have had trouble finding and retaining teachers, report says

February 09, 2018

The Supreme Court of Canada found that legislation from B.C.'s former Liberal government that stripped teachers of the right to negotiate class sizes and composition was unconstitutional. (CBC)

Teacher shortages across British Columbia have prompted the government to invest in training and recruitment programs.

Education Minister Rob Fleming says the government is investing $571,000 to train more than 100 teachers in the highest demand fields such as special education, French, math and physics.

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He says the extra funding comes in response to a task force appointed to identify challenges facing school districts across the province.

The task force report determined 54 school districts had difficulty finding and retaining learning assistance teachers, teacher librarians, counsellors, and science, math and French teachers.

B.C. moved last year to hire 3,500 teachers following a Supreme Court of Canada decision that ruled former Liberal government legislation that stripped teachers of the right to negotiate class sizes and composition was unconstitutional.

The B.C. Teachers Federation says in a statement that 16 years of under-funding education by the former government cannot be made up overnight and investing in more teacher programs is only one necessary step toward a solution.

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