The BC Government’s announcement of $50 million towards hiring more teachers is a big stepping stone, according to the Prince George District Teachers Association (PGDTA).

The funding is set to hire 1,100 more instructors and support staff for students across the province, but Vice-President Rich Giroday says there’s still more work to be done.

“We still have a long ways to go to repair the damage that’s been done. It’s been 15 years almost to the day since supports were actually unconstitutionally legislated right out of our contracts.”

Giroday is pleased to see things moving forward and the money will go a long way for helping School District 57.

He adds it’s a matter of repairing public education, which could be an even bigger challenge.

“What we see now is that they’ve been instructed by the Supreme Court [of Canada] to return those supports, and of course that means putting additional support teachers back into the public education system.”

While the province is providing this funding and the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF) working together to pick up the pieces, Giroday also believes the public can get involved.

“It’s important that teachers and parents continue to speak out and put pressure on the government to ensure that the next provincial budget on February 21st has the significant increases necessary to completely restore the collective agreement.”

He says the ultimate goal would be to finalize an agreement plan before the February budget is released so the full funding would be available in September.