FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Though the Peace River North school district will be receiving an injection of funding to hire new teachers, they will be facing stiff competition from all districts in the province.
School District 60 Superintendent Dave Sloan says that the district will be receiving $598,384 out of the $50 million in previously announced funding by the government. The funding comes after the BCTF won a landmark case at the Supreme Court of Canada last year regarding class size and composition.
Sloan says that the district has begun a process with the Peace River North Teachers Association to look at the current needs and opportunities that can be filled. He admits that when it comes to using the funding to hire new teachers, the district will have their work cut out for them.
“We’re very conscious that every school district across the province is going to be looking for teachers. It’s likely to be a bit tougher in terms of competition. We’ve always had a bit of a challenge in northern districts to attract the right candidate here. With 60 districts looking instead of just us at the table, that might be a bit more difficult,” said Sloan.
Sloan says that one of the ways that the district will use a two-pronged strategy in order to make the most out of the extra funding. The first approach will be to maximise the opportunites for teachers that are already teaching in the district, but that may be working part time or as teachers on call. The district will also look to recruit staff, some from as far away as the Maritimes. Sloan adds that they will also look at recruiting younger teachers, by pointing out that there are opportunities in Northern B.C. that might not be available in other more populated locales.