On September 25, 2017 we sent the following letter to the Honourable Rob Fleming, Minister of Education, Scott MacDonald, Deputy Minister of Education and Dave Duerkson, Executive Director, Legislation, Policy & Governance Branch asking for some government actions to help attract and retain teachers. (download pdf)
The province of British Columbia currently faces an unprecedented public education staffing crisis: the overall system is short some 1000 teachers. In Vancouver alone, as of the third week of September, there are the equivalent of 53 full-time teacher positions (72 positions overall) still unfilled. Recent hiring in Vancouver have already drawn on seconded district staff, support staff, and even retired teachers, suggesting the actual number of additional teachers required for sustainable public education school operations is far greater. These positions are at the frontline of the provision of K-12 education within our public system.
Students and families are being adversely affected by this staffing crisis. Across the province there are students in classrooms who do not have a full-time teacher; students with learning challenges are losing resource time; and some special needs students are being told to stay home in the absence of supports; and parents who have to deal with the fallout of circumstances affecting their children while juggling their existing parental and employment commitments.
While understanding the exceptional circumstances of implementing the Memorandum of Agreement resulting from last year’s Supreme Court ruling, the Parent Advocacy Network (PAN) strongly urges the Ministry of Education to take further immediate action in creative short-term measures to enable the necessary recruitment of additional qualified professional teachers.
Given the near certainty that all in-province qualified applicants have already been placed, out-of-province and internationally qualified teachers must be aggressively targeted.
We ask you to consider the following one-time actions to this end:
A secure and sustainable quality public education system is essential for the future of our province and our children, and this depends on sufficient numbers of qualified teachers. It is imperative that the Ministry work quickly and diligently to recruit additional qualified, professional teachers from out of province and international pools to ensure that all open teacher positions are filled as quickly as possible.
The Parent Advocacy Network
There will be a by-election in Vancouver on October 14th to elect nine Trustees to the Vancouver Board of Education for a one year term.
There are 19 individuals who’ve put their names forward as candidates. Some are running as independents, some with existing political parties. Some names are familiar, some are less known.
The Parent Advocacy Network (PAN) believes citizens of Vancouver, especially parents of school-aged children, should cast a vote in the by-election. We also believe voters should do their due diligence and get informed about all the candidates to make an informed choice; informed about both the candidates’ platforms and experience, but also important is who they are and how they plan to effect change.
We are asking all 19 candidates these 6 questions and we will post their answers – DUE BY October 1, 2017 – (or their lack of response) on our website by October 4th to help voters make an informed choice.
Questions for Trustee Candidates
PAN updates and news, partner events, and other timely information relating to public school advocacy in and around Vancouver, BC.