School District to Receive $1.26 Million for New Teachers
Prince George, B.C. – $1.26 million.
That’s the portion of the $50 million in provincial funding set aside for the hiring of extra teachers and classroom supports the Prince George School District will receive.
The provincial dollars were announced last week and made available following the BCTF’s Supreme Court victory over the provincial government in November in their battle over class size and composition.
Money will be disbursed by district and in collaboration with their teachers’ union.
Meetings began this week between the Prince George School District and the Prince George and District Teachers’ Association and both parties agree they were “positive” in nature.
“We had an opportunity to sit and to listen to each other,” says superintendent Marilyn Marquis-Forster. “It was a good opportunity for us to hear from our teachers’ union as to where they see the priorities for supplementing supports to students in classrooms.”
So well that she expects an agreement will be in place on how to use the funds “pretty quickly.”
“And once we’ve got that done, we’ll be able to look forward to posting and a hiring process. Of course, it depends on the availability of people to meet these new positions but we’re hopeful that students will feel the impact fairly soon.”
PGDTA president Richard Giroday declined to provide the details of the union’s proposal just yet but is hopeful it will lead to as many as two dozen hire’s.
(At an average rate of pay of $90,000 per year, including benefits.Of course that would be pro rated considering the school year is nearly half over).
“In the big scheme of things, we’re looking at probably between 20-25 full time teaching positions.”
Of course, Giroday adds, this is but a first step to even more hires in time for the start of school next September.
“This is not a complete restoration by far. The conversations and discussions are ongoing at the provincial table (for a final agreement) to determine what the full restoration of that collective agreement language will be,” he says.
“Hopefully they’ll be done before the provincial budget comes down on Feb. 21 so the money for the full restoration is in the budget and ready for Sept.1.”
*Editors note: The $90,000 average salary includes the benefits that go along with each position. For example: medical, life insurance, extended health and dental.*