Students head into a portable classroom in Chilliwack. Some urban centres are seeing rising enrolment. (Greg Laychak/Black Press)

No more teacher shortage, B.C. education ministry says

‘Further action considered’ on rural, specialty school jobs

Staffing rural schools and recruiting specialty teachers continues as B.C.’s school year gets underway, but the “vast majority” of vacant positions have been filled and job vacancies have returned to normal levels, the education ministry says.

“We have contacted all 60 school districts and there is no overall teacher shortage in B.C.,” the ministry said in a statement Wednesday. “The vast majority have now been hired, including 390 special education teachers and 140 more teacher psychologists and counsellors. As well, districts have hired an additional 1,000 education assistants over the last year.

“Overall job postings have generally resumed to normal levels, but there are some acute pressures that are long-standing, such as French immersion, indigenous education and special education.”

The ministry is “considering if any further action is required to support specialized positions as well as rural and remote” districts, the statement says.

Nechako Lakes school district began the year with about 10 full and part-time positions vacant, one of a number of B.C.’s 60 school districts still looking to fill jobs. Teacher-on-call positions are a key shortage in that and other districts, as many of the substitute teachers have taken full-time positions and aren’t available to cover for illness and other absences.

More than 3,700 teaching positions were funded last year in the wake of the Supreme Court of Canada decision reinstating class size and special needs formulas removed from the teacher contract in 2002.

RELATED: BCTF says outdated classroom equipment a problem

RELATED: More students, more pressure on B.C. schools

Enrolment is up in 35 out of 60 B.C. school districts as more than 530,000 students head back. The net increase province-wide is about 1,700 additional full-time equivalents, including adult education students. The other 25 districts are predicting declines, but many are seeing small fluctuations in a stable student population.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation filed grievances in the spring over the hiring of non-certified staff to fill the gaps. In the Quesnel district, the union says there were nine full-time teaching jobs filled by non-certified people, and in urban areas, classrooms with four or more students identified as having special needs continued due to a shortage of special education teachers.

Education Minister Rob Fleming says the previous government wasn’t interested in hiring special education teachers, and those with qualifications who are not teaching are being recruited.

Just Posted

Suspected spill kills hundreds of crayfish, coho in Langley river

A fish kill in the Nicomekl has a biologist concerned for the health of the local ecosystem.

Rams harvest sweet victory in win over Huskers

The Chilliwack team found itself pushed back again and again.

WATCH: Cops for Cancer bring message of hope to Langley school

Young cancer survivors are traveling with the fundraising bike ride.

Driver of pickup stolen from Langley crashes into car in Abbotsford

No serious injuries in collision on Monday night

VIDEO: Fort Langley paying homage to Vaughan

Russell Marsland and Lovestruck bring a tribute concert to the Chief Sepass Theatre on Saturday.

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Aldergrove soccer forward enjoys scoring spree

UFV Cascades’ Jhaj named Canada West second star of the week

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

New ‘meowyoral’ race featuring felines announced by B.C. animal shelter

Organizers hope the cat election will generate attention for shelter and local municipal election

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Lower Mainland city calls for slower trains near popular beach

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said ‘it’s the least we can do’

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Most Read