BC teachers reacted with incredulity to a report that the Ministry of Education intends to pay some teachers more than others, depending on their class sizes.
“This pay-per-student scheme is like educational piece-work, it treats students like widgets. It’s like a 19th century factory model,” said BCTF President Susan Lambert.
“For decades, teachers have been advocating for smaller classes so we can provide the individual attention that helps children thrive in school. In all that time, we have never asked for increased pay for larger classes because that wouldn’t do anything to improve learning conditions for our students,” she said.
“Any amount of money to the teacher won’t make those overcrowded classrooms okay for kids,” Lambert said. “You simply can’t teach to individual needs in overcrowded classrooms.”
A media report today states that the Ministry of Education is proposing to pay teachers:
- An extra $2,500 per year per student over 30 in Grades 4–7 classrooms; and
- An extra $312 per student over 30 in some secondary school courses.
“This is unethical. It treats student as a commodity to be traded off or bartered. This is an appalling idea from the Ministry of Education” Lambert said.
Education Minister George Abbott is reported as saying that having to pay teachers extra if they have more than 30 students would provide financial disincentives to school boards to have large classes.
“It appears that the minister is using students as pawns to put pressure on school boards to rob funds from somewhere else to keep class sizes down. The education budget is frozen. With a $100 million funding shortfall for next year, it’s clear boards are going to have to cut entire programs to fund this odious scheme,” Lambert said.