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Oct. 27, 2023
VICTORIA – Kindergarten-to-Grade 12 students in some of B.C.’s rural and remote communities are learning this year from 50 new teachers who were recruited through the Province’s new hiring incentives.
“Our government’s support for hiring more teachers means that students, no matter where they live, can have access to the best education possible,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care. “This work is part of our government’s plan to develop a stable and skilled K-12 workforce for the future.”
The Province, in partnership with the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) and the British Columbia School Superintendents Association (BCSSA) northern chapter, launched the teacher-recruitment incentives in spring 2023 with $400,000 in funding to address the immediate need for teachers in the North. Part of the funding was used to provide hiring incentives of $4,000 up to $10,000 per teacher. Of the 50 new teachers, 41 are located in northern B.C., seven on Vancouver Island and two in the Thompson-Okanagan.
“Recruiting and retaining teachers in rural and remote areas of B.C. is an important piece of our StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. “These incentives are one of the ways our government is supporting communities to attract more teachers and contribute to B.C.’s growing economy.”
With the success of the initial teacher-recruitment incentives, the Ministry of Education and Child Care is providing an additional $1.5 million over three years to provide more incentives to rural and remote school districts. The three-year funding is part of the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan, a cross-government made-in-B.C. plan to recruit workers with in-demand skills where they are needed most, including teachers.
The Province is also working with partners, including the BCPSEA, Indigenous stakeholders, school districts, unions, post-secondary institutions and the BC Teachers’ Council on a broader K-12 workforce strategy to support a sustainable, qualified and engaged workforce. A total investment of $12.5 million and key learnings from these first two recruitment initiatives will be used to expand recruitment and retention initiatives where teachers are needed the most in B.C.
Tracey MacMillan, superintendent, Stikine School District 87 –
“With the help of the bonus, we’ve successfully hired nearly a dozen teachers, reopened an elementary school and added high-school programming in our most isolated community, Telegraph Creek, but most importantly our school communities have been reinvigorated. We no longer need to send students out of community for high school, now they can remain in their community and thereby grow their community. Now, we will focus on retaining these energetic teachers for the long term.”
Cody Hartwig, grades 6 and 7 teacher, Dease Lake school –
“I was interested in teaching in the Stikine school district after talking to the staff on a Zoom call and hearing about this great school community. The bonus helped me travel across the country from Ontario to B.C. this summer. It’s been a really welcoming atmosphere and I am fully involved in the community at both the school and the fire hall where I volunteer.”
Nathan Cullen, MLA for Stikine –
“Teachers are valued members of our northern communities and I am so glad to hear that more teachers have been recruited to work in classrooms in Stikine and across northern B.C. This is part of our ongoing work to build stronger schools and ensure every student has what they need to thrive.”
To learn about the StrongerBC Future Ready Action Plan; visit, https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/jobs-and-training
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Education and Child Care
School districts benefiting from teachers’ hiring incentive
New teachers have been recruited in the following school districts through the Province’s new hiring incentive:
School District 73- Kamloops-Thompson
School District 84-Vancouver Island West
School District 85-Vancouver Island North ‘
School District 52-Prince Rupert
School District 54-Bulkley Valley
School District 92-Nisga’a
School District 82-Coast Mountains
School District 87-Stikine
School District 91-Nechako Lakes
School District 57-Prince George
School District 81-Fort Nelson
School District 60-Peace River North
Ministry of Education and Child Care