VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – British Columbia’s education system will receive a $150-million funding boost after the province reached a deal with teachers to restore contract language that called for smaller class sizes.
Education Minister Mike Bernier says the new classroom enhancement fund is in addition to the $180-million announced in this year’s budget, bringing the total to $330-million.
The new funding will mean the hiring of about 1,500 new teachers, in addition to the 1,000 already announced in the budget, and Bernier says they’re now recruiting 2,600 teaching positions from across the country.
The BC Teachers’ Federation announced earlier this month that a majority of its members voted to ratify a deal with the province that would restore contract language from a 2002 agreement.
The deal came after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled last year that a law imposed by the province that blocked teachers’ ability from bargaining class size was unconstitutional.
Bernier says the funding will be ongoing and represents a total investment of $1.7-billion over the next three years, but the province is set to return to the bargaining table with teachers in 2019.