B.C. to regulate teacher professional development

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

Education Minister Peter Fassbender

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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Keygan Power with brother Quintin and mom Allison while camping the weekend before Keygan’s brain hemorrhage on Aug. 2, 2020. (Photo Allison Power)
Saanich teen ‘locked inside,’ regaining speech after severe brain hemorrhage

16-year-old suffers traumatic loss of function, still plays a mean game of chess

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

North Saanich is giving local businesses a break by waving renewal fees for 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
North Saanich waives business renewal fees for 2021

The municipality raised $48,000 from businesses licences in 2020

The Sooke school district has filled all spots for their French immersion and nature kinderagarten programs in 2021-2022 school year. Regular kindergarten registration is still open and available. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke school district gets surplus of nature, French immersion kindergarten applications

Not enough room for almost half of nature kindergarten applicants

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

Most Read