Teachers Optimistic About School Year
Prince George, B.C. – As schools throughout the School District 57 prepare to open their doors for the school year, teachers are optimistic this year will be better than it has been for more than a decade.
Joanne Hapke is the President of the Prince George District Teachers Association “We are optimistic. We have restored language that we won from the Supreme Court ruling in November, our District has been very supportive of this language.”
The language meant the teachers union has the right to negotiate things like class size, and that has meant a revamping of classrooms throughout British Columbia. In Prince George, it lead to the re-opening of Springwood Elementary , which had been closed about 7 years ago.
“That’s a huge positive” says Hapke “I believe we are the only district in this province which is reopening a school.”
Smaller class sizes meant hiring plenty of teachers. The Province has dedicated $376 million dollars to hire new teachers across B.C. for the new school year but there are still some openings within School District 57 says Hapke “There are a few jobs that have to be filled still, but not a whole lot, and we have an incredible HR team that’s working on getting teachers into our district. So we’re optimistic.”.
She says the PGDTA will be working hard to ensure class sizes are kept below the maximum and that students who need supports will be receiving everything they need to be successful.
The Province’s education operating budget for this school year is $5.9 billion.