Oct 29, 2018, Kelowna (BC) Capital News: Central Okanagan trustees mum on teacher contract talks https://www.kelownacapnews.com/news/central-okanagan-trustees-mum-on-teacher-contract-talks/ The Central Okanagan Board of Education boardroom offered some insight last Wednesday to what could be a contentious round of upcoming negotiations on a new teachers’ contract. Susan Bauhart, president of the Central Okanagan Teachers Association, voiced her displeasure about a document circulated to school boards across the province earlier this year by the B.C. Public School Employers Association asking for input on “five big ideas” concerning the next round of contract negotiations. She voiced her frustration that among those ideas were teacher workload and professional teacher learning enhancement, which no trustees had sought her input about…. While the class size legal resolution has largely resulted in hiring more teachers, Bauhart said classroom composition remains a point of dispute overshadowed by a pending arbitrator’s ruling, expected by Jan. 31, 2019…. But BCTF president Glen Hansman said class composition still faces challenges that will require additional investment by the provincial government, and more attention by individual school districts. “Class composition is more complex because of differences in local collective agreement language as well as district student assessment and staffing processes. For example, about a third of our local teachers’ associations don’t have any class composition language. There are also differences among school districts in how employers implemented class-composition requirements,” Hansman said. In the past, the province has tracked the number of classes with four or more students with special needs. Comparing 2016-17 to 2017-18, the number of classes with four children with special needs has increased by 0.9 per cent. “B.C. teachers fully support the inclusion of children with special needs in our classrooms and the need for the specialized programs and staff that support them,” Hansman said. “The B.C. government and school districts need to put more efforts into creating classes that ensure all children get the attention they need. We should not be seeing this degree of inconsistency around the province, and it is always within the ability of the province and school districts to ensure services are in place for students above and beyond a bare minimum.” Bauhart noted that reinstated contract language was 16 years old, and much has changed in particular with classroom composition and demands for special needs and learning assistance students since then, changes that must be adapted to the next contract from the BCTF’s perspective. “For example, the category of students diagnosed with autism has ballooned from 16 years ago, so how do we deal with that?” she said. “The arbitrator’s ruling is expected to set a baseline for defining these special needs categories like autism, what each one means and how that is addressed in classroom composition.” …
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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