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

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

O’Reilly trial scheduled to start January 15 for Anahim Lake murders

O’Reilly is charged with first-degree murder

School District 49 to re-open Nusatsum Elementary in September 2018

SD49 says increasing enrollment is driving its decision to re-open the school

Red Cross funding available to local residents of Bella Coola and Hagensborg

The Red Cross is administering up to $900 in initial funding to help assist Bella Coola Valley residents

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Whistler role in potential Calgary Olympic bid would be welcome: IOC

Calgary is mulling whether to vie for the 2026 Games, and could look to facilities in B.C.

Most Read