B.C. school districts have hired nearly 2,000 staff members with the first instalment of federal funding for the provincial government’s K-12 COVID-19 response.
The new positions include 968 teachers, 252 educational assistants, 403 custodial staff and 244 additional staff, such as counsellors, bus drivers and or administrative staff.
“School is the best place for most students to learn and it’s so important for their social and emotional well-being,” said Jennifer Whiteside, minister of education. “We know this funding is making a tremendous difference for students and staff, keeping our schools open and supporting our safety plans during the pandemic.”
School districts also purchased almost 2.5 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE), installed or upgraded more than 5,800 hand hygiene or washing stations and upgraded 45,283 air or ventilation filters.
The new positions and upgrades are paid for by the first instalment of the federal government’s $242 million funding for B.C.’s K-12 response.
The second instalment is expected to be available in January. The federal funding builds on the $45.6 million in one-time funding provided through the province’s COVID-19-specific investment in education.