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Seniority-based hiring will soon be a thing of the past for Ontario teachers. New teachers will be able to apply for full-time positions without having to do years of substitute teaching, as a new proposal for Education Minister Lisa Thompson is in the works
As reported by the Star, according to Thompson, the current rules are “outdated,” and said consultations are currently ongoing. The changes are coming due to Regulation 274, which requires principals to hire from “among the most senior supply teachers for long-term and permanent jobs.”
“The previous government, sadly, instituted outdated hiring practices that rewarded teachers based on seniority and did not recognize teachers who were excelling at their jobs,” Thompson said Tuesday in the legislature.
“That needs to change, and we’re going to get that job done … We need to ensure that we have the right teacher in the right classroom. Our proposal to allow new teachers direct access to apply to permanent positions in any school board is a step towards accomplishing just that.”
Premier Ford has also said that his government will be including more in the budget for education within the 2019-2020 school year compared to the current expenditure.
“We’re going to drive efficiencies,” he said at an event in Burlington. “I’ll tell you this—we’re putting more money into education than the previous government.
“Not by a little, by a lot. We’re putting a tremendous amount more into health care which is so important.”
The idea is not a new one, and has been proposed for a number of years now. In 2013 the Globe and Mail released an article titled “Parents, principals fight hiring of Ontario teachers based on seniority.” The article outlined the aforementioned outdated hiring practices that ignored high-quality teachers and instead put high-priority on number of hours worked.
Just a few years later, and changes are now in the works.
When Thompson was asked for more details, she stated “we’re investing in teachers who want to increase and improve their qualifications when it comes to math. So any teacher who wants to take the additional qualification course in math, certainly we’re going to invest in them because we know that our students need the best teachers and we want to ensure that our teachers who want to take a step forward are supported by our ministry and that’s a good example.”
The Ontario government currently spends about $29 billion annually on education.
Regulation 274 was put into place by the previous Ontario Liberal government in 2012 after complaints poured in about nepotism in hiring, especially in smaller Catholic school boards. Thompson claims the revamp “isn’t about an outdated regulation; this is about doing the right thing for our students, and the right move for our teachers.”
She later said “we’re working through a consultation right now through to May 31 and we certainly want to be hearing from our education partners because Regulation 274 did a disservice to Ontario teachers across this province and we need to get it right.”
With the plan to boost secondary school classes from an average of 22 to 28 students also in the words, a number of changes to Ontario schools will surely result in some growing pains, though all changes are being welcomed with open arms by most.
What do you think of the upcoming changes to Ontario schools? Let us know in the comments below.