It’s been announced that the BC Court of Appeal will be rendering a decision this Thursday on the long-standing legal battle between the BCLibs and the BCTF. The link to recent judgements is here.
The BC Supreme Court ruled that class size and and composition clauses were illegally stripped by Gordon Campbell and then Minister of Ed. Christy Clark way back in 2002. On top of that, the judge used extraordinarily strong langauage in determining that the provincial government bargained in bad faith.
Of course the BCLibs appealed (that’s what this decision will be all about) and whoever loses this time is expected to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. More to come but an important decision looms this week for public school educators.
On top of this, specific ratios linked to the # of students at a school for specialist teachers (librarians, counsellors, learning assistance, speech language pathologists etc) were eliminated when that contract was ripped up.
Now what do we see? – Larger classes with more needs, more split classes, fewer course options and key courses at the high school level unavailable because the reduced blocks are already “filled” to name a few outcomes. I’m predicting that this will be next shock parents and students will see in their high schools.
School boards continually downsize important support services each budget year because they are no longer adequately funded.
Ripped up contract and subsequent chronic under-funding = eroded supports for students no matter how one attempts to bend the facts.