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 Bill 274 has little to do with being the best

 by Sandy Lindsay

 

December 9, 2013

Editorial

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G. C. Huston School Public School in Southampton (Saugeen Shores) may be small in size in the grand scheme of education in Ontario, but its Community Council Members at Large are upset over a Ministry decision, that implements a regulation that will affect hiring practices when it comes to teachers, and they are going to make their voices heard.

Under Bill 274, Principals are no longer decision makers when it comes to their teaching staff.  Instead, they are being forced to hire teachers based first on seniority instead of excellence as educators. 

The regulation sets out the rule that Principals cannot hire occasional teachers, long-term occasional teachers or permanent teachers based on qualifications or suitability for the school community. Rather, the primary consideration now comes to seniority.

For the regulation ... Read Here 

The Council has written to the Minister of Education for the Province, the Honourable Liz Sandals, asking that she rescind the regulation, explaining the unique aspects of the G. C. Huston school community.

To read Council letter- Page 1  Page 2

Sandals, herself a one-time teacher, school-board trustee and President of the Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA), was also the first recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Education Award presented by the Ontario Principals' Council.

Also stated in the regulations document is that ...

"Any assignment or appointment of a person to a teaching position shall be made with due regard for the provision of the best possible program and the safety and well-being of the pupils".

Unfortunately, it appears that the 'seniority regulation' overrides the provision of the "best possible program and safety and well-being of the pupils" and focuses more on ensuring that older, experienced teachers who have 'put in more time' have the advantage.

What it also does is eliminate the quality of 'best' for students.  Just because a teacher is in 'the system' for a long time does not necessarily make him or her the best when it comes to teaching or to relating to students.  What this also does is reduce the opportunities for young teachers to enter the profession that they went to school for.  What will they do?

For many, they will begin to look elsewhere for employment in their field, just as so many nurses did at one time.  What happens then, five or ten years down the road of education? 

 

Click the orange arrow to read the second column

What does this regulation do to Principals?  For all intents and purposes, it effectively ties their hands.  Principals who know their students, know their staff, know parents and know the community, now have no authority, no control over who they can hire regardless of how qualified or suitable a teacher may be.  Instead, they have to go to 'the lists' of teachers and draw from them first. Not only is this an affront to them[principals], it is an affront to students.

What has to be asked is why? Why this regulation? Why the enforcement of a rule that virtually eliminates who may be the BEST in favour of who has been around for the longest?

Every taxpayer who is paying into the education system in Ontario should be concerned ... every parent and every grandparent. 

"We are asking that anyone who feels strongly, whether an individual tax payer of Public education or a community group submit your opinion to:

  • the Premier

  • Minister of Education

  • your local MP and MPP

  • Bluewater School Board Director of Education

  • your School Trustee

  • Parent Involvement Committee Chair

  • Special Education Advisory Committee

  • Saugeen First Nation Education Committee

  • Student Senators

    Click Here to read more on petition.


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