The BC Teachers Federation says there are more than 400 unfilled teaching positions in BC still being advertised.
Vice president Teri Mooring says the teacher shortage has prevented kids from getting the support they’re entitled to after last year’s Supreme Court decision on class size and composition.
“Unfortunately, the shortage of teachers across the province has prevented school districts from properly implementing teachers’ restored class-composition standards and specialist-teacher ratios. Class sizes have improved, but class composition and support levels for children with special needs continues to deteriorate,” says Mooring.
The BCTF is recommending the Education Ministry provide dedicated funding for teacher recruitment and retention initiatives, and to fund new teacher mentorship programs.
“The shortage grows when you consider all the on-call teachers needed to fill in for sick days and the historic number of unqualified and uncertified individuals currently teaching in classrooms.
Mooring says labour market projections suggest BC will need 17,000 new teaching staff over the next decade.
The BCTF made 17 recommendations to BC’s Standing Committee on Finance including three on the teacher shortage:
• The Ministry of Education provide dedicated funding for teacher recruitment and retention initiatives across all school districts.
• The Ministry of Education implement all of the recommendations from the Minister’s task force on immediate recruitment challenges.
• The Ministry of Education fund new teacher mentorship programs to support teachers new to the profession and those entering new roles.