B.C. to regulate teacher professional development

Education Minister Peter Fassbender to require new training for teachers to maintain certification

Education Minister Peter Fassbender

The B.C. government is giving itself new authority to regulate ongoing teacher training, possibly requiring completion of new programs for teachers to maintain certification.

Education Minister Peter Fassbender said there are currently no detailed requirements for certified teachers to stay current with new education techniques. Those requirements are to be worked out with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, which was notified only hours before changes to the School Act were introduced in the legislature Thursday.

“There is no legislated requirement for professional development, nor is there a definition of what the route to that might be and what some of those tools are,” Fassbender told reporters Thursday. “That is why it is important that we work with the teaching profession to define that moving forward, and that’s what this bill allows us to do.”

There is no change to the five professional development days per school year that are currently part of the BCTF contract, or any requirement in the legislation that new training be delivered during those days.

B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Jim Iker said education ministry officials have assured him there will be two years of consultation before changes to professional development are imposed. Any changes “need to be properly funded and respect teachers’ professional autonomy,” he said.

Iker was more concerned about another change that gives the ministry authority to impose shared services arrangements on school districts. He called the move “a diversion from underfunding,” after the government demanded $29 million in administrative savings from districts, many of whom say they can’t find any more savings.

Fassbender said school districts will have time to develop shared service plans themselves before anything is imposed by Victoria.

NDP education critic Rob Fleming said Fassbender and the B.C. Liberals have a “centralizing impulse” toward school districts, shifting authority to the education ministry that doesn’t have the capacity to make all those decisions.

The government forced all school districts into a new administration computer system that didn’t work, costing $120 million, so it doesn’t have the track record to lecture school districts on efficiency, Fleming said.

 

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Are there windier days ahead?

Tales from the Bear

Man caught in fatal avalanche ID’ed as Alberta man in his 20s

Outdoor guides warn against high winds in the mountains Family Day weekend

Road conditions for Feb. 14

More compact snow and slippery sections

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read