Perhaps some encouraging information for the Quesnel School District and others in the interior today from BC’s Education Minister.
Rob Flemming, speaking to reporters, was asked about funding for replacing schools like Quesnel Junior Secondary and if there would be money outside of seismic upgrades on the Lower Mainland…
“The short answer to that is “you better believe it.” There are communities right across the province that have been short changed by the previous government. I know the numbers in the Quesnel district, it’s been 16 years of under investment in facilities.”
Flemming says the NDP has a very ambitious agenda on fixing schools and building new schools.
He also talked about addressing class size and composition…
“There is a massive recruitment to have more teaching professionals in our schools, more one on one time with students. Quesnel and other districts now have restored their class compsition language for example so we are recruiting more speciailist teachers to be able to deal with special needs leaners and help them be successful in schools. I can’t underscore this enough, we are hiring 35-hundred new teachers in the classroom this year. We expect about 42-hundred new students with growing enrollment in BC so for almost, for every new student coming into BC’s school system this year, there is another teahcer so that is an incredible ratio, it’s also an incredible u-turn on the direction the province has been headed for the paSt 16 years when the previous govenrment was firing teachers, making class sizes larger and reducing the kinds of learning supports that our kids need.”
Flemming says for the first time in 16 years a school year is beginning with optimism and students are coming back to a school system where the government has made education it’s top priority.