Students head into a portable classroom in Chilliwack. Some urban centres are seeing rising enrolment. (Greg Laychak/Black Press)

No more teacher shortage, B.C. education ministry says

‘Further action considered’ on rural, specialty school jobs

Staffing rural schools and recruiting specialty teachers continues as B.C.’s school year gets underway, but the “vast majority” of vacant positions have been filled and job vacancies have returned to normal levels, the education ministry says.

“We have contacted all 60 school districts and there is no overall teacher shortage in B.C.,” the ministry said in a statement Wednesday. “The vast majority have now been hired, including 390 special education teachers and 140 more teacher psychologists and counsellors. As well, districts have hired an additional 1,000 education assistants over the last year.

“Overall job postings have generally resumed to normal levels, but there are some acute pressures that are long-standing, such as French immersion, indigenous education and special education.”

The ministry is “considering if any further action is required to support specialized positions as well as rural and remote” districts, the statement says.

Nechako Lakes school district began the year with about 10 full and part-time positions vacant, one of a number of B.C.’s 60 school districts still looking to fill jobs. Teacher-on-call positions are a key shortage in that and other districts, as many of the substitute teachers have taken full-time positions and aren’t available to cover for illness and other absences.

More than 3,700 teaching positions were funded last year in the wake of the Supreme Court of Canada decision reinstating class size and special needs formulas removed from the teacher contract in 2002.

RELATED: BCTF says outdated classroom equipment a problem

RELATED: More students, more pressure on B.C. schools

Enrolment is up in 35 out of 60 B.C. school districts as more than 530,000 students head back. The net increase province-wide is about 1,700 additional full-time equivalents, including adult education students. The other 25 districts are predicting declines, but many are seeing small fluctuations in a stable student population.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation filed grievances in the spring over the hiring of non-certified staff to fill the gaps. In the Quesnel district, the union says there were nine full-time teaching jobs filled by non-certified people, and in urban areas, classrooms with four or more students identified as having special needs continued due to a shortage of special education teachers.

Education Minister Rob Fleming says the previous government wasn’t interested in hiring special education teachers, and those with qualifications who are not teaching are being recruited.

Just Posted

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Kitimat commits itself to the global fight against polio

Mayor Phil Germuth signs a proclamation

$2 million landfill capping complete

The purpose is to minimize potential leaching of contaminants from the site.

Pipeline company urges rejection of many seeking intervener status in jurisdictional hearings

Those seeking to participate include District of Kitimat and Haisla Nation

North Coast figure skater to star in Dancing On Ice

Carlotta Edwards learned to skate in Prince Rupert, before becoming a star with millions of viewers

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Most fatal overdose victims did not have recent police contact: Stats Canada

11 per cent of those who fatally overdosed in B.C. had four or more contacts with the police

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Heir’s big birthday: 70 candles lined up for Prince Charles

Prince Charles turns 70 Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, still serving in the heir to the throne role he has filled since he was a young child.

Trudeau lays down challenge to companies in bid to boost trade with Asia

“Building the relationships, building the connections, building the facility and also changing mindsets — getting Canadian companies to see the opportunities we have around the world to partner and invest.”

CNN sues Trump, demanding return of Acosta to White House

CNN is asking for an immediate restraining order to return Acosta to the White House.

Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

US trial to tell epic tale of Mexican drug lord “El Chapo”

Guzman’s long-awaited U.S. trial begins Tuesday in New York

Northern California wildfire is deadliest in state history

Holding out slim hope as crews search for more fire dead; 42 already killed in blaze

Most Read