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Bill 22 would give some teachers in primary grades $2,500 per student

VANCOUVER — Public-school teachers are being promised financial compensation next year if they have extra-large classes.

A controversial bill now working its way through the legislature would give Grades 4-7 teachers an extra $2,500 a year for every student beyond 30 in their classrooms while secondary school teachers, who teach many courses per day, would receive $312 for every student beyond 30 in their courses, the B.C. Education Ministry told The Vancouver Sun.

Furthermore, the ministry is promising to amend school regulations to require principals to consult with teachers, and teachers to advise principals, on all matters related to classroom organization, including the placement of special-needs students. Those discussions will become “core duties” for principals and teachers, a ministry spokesman said.

Teachers in primary grades won’t be eligible for the compensation because their classes will continue to be capped at a maximum of 22 children in kindergarten and 24 students in Grades 1-3.

Teachers for courses such as band and drama, where large student numbers are sometimes desirable, are also not expected to qualify for additional pay.

The ministry says the extra money for teachers would not only compensate them for an added workload but would encourage school administrators to keep classes at 30 students or fewer in order to control costs.

The challenges of large classes with many special-needs students has been a long-standing concern of B.C. teachers, especially since 2002, when the Liberals stripped their union of its right to bargain class size and composition. Last April, the B.C. Supreme Court found the government had violated teachers’ rights and ordered it to remedy the situation within a year.

Read THE VANCOUVER SUN full article here.

By Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun March 9, 2012

jsteffenhagen@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

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