Monday, January 16, 2017

British Columbia's School Districts do their math; make their plans for funding allocation

Math really will matter for the next few weeks, as School Districts across the province, continue to work out how they will allocate their share of 50 million dollars in additional funding to come from the provincial government.

The new money will make for a boost in financial assets for Districts around the province, with a significant increase in teaching positions across the province making for the first item on the to do list.

An announcement from earlier this month outlined some background on how the Government of British Columbia and BCTF reached an agreement, and what the scope of the return of funding to the Education system in the province was going to look like.

As we reviewed earlier this month, the funding returns come as a result of last fall's court ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada which found in favour of the BCTF position, and while there are still a number of outstanding issues related to that ruling, the money to School District's was the first to get addressed.

The funding directed towards adding some 1,100 teaching positions to the public system will be good news for graduating students from teaching programs across the province, as well as for the current roster of teachers on call, who may be looking to move into permanent positions.

As they weigh their options, some School Districts have also noted that they may have to look towards asking retired teachers to come back into the system, as they look to try and fill positions as they become available.

One concern that many northern school districts are expressing is the impact of so many new positions in larger population markets perhaps and how that may make for a significant drain out of the north.

The prospect of a large volume of positions coming on stream could see teachers look to build careers in larger urban areas, or in destinations that they have had an eye on as their career paths moved forward.

Independent schools may also find some challenges as they planning for 2017-18 moves forward faced with the possibility of a drain on their employment rolls, as openings begin to arrive in the public education systems of the province.

Those were among a number of themes that Tracy Sherlock, the Vancouver Sun's education reporter examined in an expansive report earlier this month .

School District 52 has yet to offer up any public notes through their website, or by way of the media as to where they might be allocating their share of the provincial funding, but other School Districts across the northern region have started to provide a glimpse into how they are planning for the road ahead.

Some of the plans in motion across the region can be reviewed below:

Prince George

Over Two Dozen New Teachers expected in Fall
UNBC could benefit from $50 Million in Teaching Funding
Province commits money to hiring teachers
Prince George School District will receive $1.26M from BC Teachers Fund
PG Teachers Association calls BC's $50M funding 'stepping stone' for public education
School District to Receive $1.26 Million for new teachers
School District, Union to start hiring talks next week


School District 54 to decide on how to spend provincial money
Province investing $50M for 1,100 new BC teachers


Coast Mountain School District to hire more teachers
Coast Mountain School District looks at school funding

For residents of Prince Rupert, what SD52's plan might look like could become more clear as District officials begin their Budget Consultation process for 2017.

As we noted on Friday, the first of a number of consultation meetings takes place on January 25th, with sessions to follow in February, March and April.

A look at the School District timetable for that consultation process is below (click to enlarge):

For more items related to education in the Northwest see our North Coast archive here, while notes from the rest of the Northwest can be found here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

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