FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 1, 2023
WHITEHORSE – As the 2022-2023 school year draws to a close, many educators as well as parents are looking ahead to August and the logistics of starting the 2023-2024 school year.
Last August, students, parents, and administrators faced a rocky start to the school year. A shortage of teachers in the classroom left principals scrambling to recruit staff members. School administrators then had to come up with patchwork solutions including staff taking on positions outside of their specialty. This was exacerbated by a severe shortage of substitute teachers.
With a competitive market for educators, the Yukon Party Official Opposition is suggesting a more aggressive approach to recruit teachers to not only Whitehorse but also rural Yukon.
- Increasing the number of recruiters;
- Spending the necessary dollars on a targeted recruitment campaign that sells the Yukon as a great place to teach, especially for those fresh out of university;
- Attending job fairs across Canada;
- Creating an easy-to-access recruitment website;
- Providing extra incentives to recruit teachers to the Yukon, especially rural Yukon; and
- Filling all open positions by the end of July so educators have time to relocate and prepare for the year.
The 2023 Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA) says, ‘To improve the Yukon’s education system, the government will allocate an additional $1 million in each of the next three budgets to enhance recruitment and retention of new rural education professionals across the Yukon.’
Given the CASA commitment and our suggestions, the Yukon Party is wondering how the Liberal government is spending that extra million dollars.
As for the education system itself, the Yukon Party is asking the Liberal government to clarify how many positions need to be filled by August. How many new teachers are needed in Whitehorse, and in rural Yukon? Is there a clear process for properly placing Educational Assistants and Learning Assistance Teachers with the appropriate students?
“Students, parents, and school staff deserve a smooth start to the new school year,” said Education Critic Scott Kent. “We hope the Minister of Education learned from last year to ensure that smooth start. We also call on the Minister to communicate with school administration, as well as School Boards and Councils about any potential difficulties that may arise heading into the new year.”