How many teachers can you get for $503,000?
Now that Superintendent Jeff Jones and the Kootenay Lake School District have done their calculations and weighed their priorities, we have a very specific answer: the equivalent of 11.14 full-time teachers.
“We decided to do a base amount per school, then after that we allocated the rest per-pupil,” Jones told the Star.
“Then the schools met with their staff members to deploy the staffing according to their needs.”
The new hires were made possible by a Supreme Court of Canada ruling, which saw the B.C. Teachers Federation win a decisive victory in a multi-year court battle over classroom size and composition.
The $503,000 is SD8’s portion of a $50 million interim agreement between the two parties.
Using the funds, the district put out 18 job postings last week, with many principals doing interviews and making decisions over the weekend. Jones was aiming for the majority of the positions to be filled by yesterday.
“There are a number of different positions that will support students in a variety of ways. Some are learning supports, and others are positions that will provide team-teaching opportunities. At the secondary schools they can now offer classes they might not have been able to.”
He said some counselling time has also been introduced.
“What the district did was we added another $43,000 to round the odd numbers up and make for more attractive positions,” he said.
The additional funds came from the operating budget, and every school received at least two tenths of a teacher.
“I’m very pleased we were able to have the resources to infuse additional teaching resources into our district,” he said, noting they were focused on “expediency.”
“We wanted it to happen as soon as possible.”