Yesterday, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education announced that, effective October 29, 2020, Regulation 274 will be revoked, and teacher hiring in Ontario will be dictated by merit, diversity, and the unique needs of schools and communities.
“Our government is fully committed to standing up for students and parents who deserve the best, most qualified, and reflective educator at the front of the classroom. That means, when it comes to hiring educators, principals should be able to hire the best teacher for the job – not necessarily the one who has been in line the longest,” the education minister said.
“For too many years, our newer and younger educators have been left behind, and they deserve equal opportunity for progression. By putting students first, we will empower school principals to hire the best teacher for each and every classroom, and not the teacher who has simply been in the school board the longest,” he added.
Revoking Regulation 274 is about ensuring that students can see themselves reflected in the educator at the front of the classroom. And it is about hiring teachers who meet all students’ needs and will inspire them to achieve success, Lecce explained. A review of the Peel District School Board which found that “having a teaching staff that is representative of the students in school would allow students to focus on learning, rather than having to focus so much of their time and emotional energy navigating an education system where they are made to feel like outsiders”, he said.
The Ford government said that in their 2019 consultation submission, principals’ associations, including the Ontario Principals’ Council, cited several concerns with O. Reg 274/12, including the inability to hire the best teacher for the position, and supported the revocation of the regulation. The new hiring Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) will enable principals to hire based on merit, diversity and the unique needs of the school, while providing strict protocols to avoid concerns of nepotism.
The province’s interim policy for school board teacher hiring practices will come into effect on October 29, 2020 and will guide school board hiring until school boards develop their own teacher hiring policies consistent with the PPM to be issued in November.
Publicly funded school boards and school authorities will have until December 31, 2020 to develop and post their own teacher hiring policies that align with the PPM and respect existing collective agreements.