Teacher Shortages and Institutional Responses

Teacher Shortages and Institutional Responses

IPE/BC Forum, March 7, 2024

We’re very grateful to Dr. Dan Laitsch, Dean, Faculty of Education, SFU, for speaking to our recent forum about the serious teacher shortage and for engaging our many participants online and in person in a discussion of the causes and solutions. Dan stressed the importance of a comprehensive systemic response to each of the hurdles to recruiting and retaining teacher candidates and practising teachers. We’re pleased to report that his presentation inspired IPE/BC to form a working committee to highlight the issues, research the solutions, and advocate for positive changes.

We invite you to take a few minutes to read the report on this forum here. 

Upcoming Forum and AGM

The Institute for Public Education/BC will be holding a forum on the teacher shortage in conjunction with its AGM. We’d be very pleased to see you there. Please don’t hesitate to share this information to others interested in quality, inclusive, accessible public education.

Keynote address: Teacher Shortage, Teacher Supply, Teacher Demand, or Teacher Employment, ensuring access to high quality teachers for BC students.

We’re delighted to have Dr. Dan Laitsch, Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University,  as our keynote speaker. Dan is a former IPE/BC Board member and Chair of IPE/BC and has been the president of the Confederation of University Faculty Associations, British Columbia, a long serving Director on the SFU Faculty Association (SFUFA) and former Treasurer and President of the association. A researcher with the SFU Centre for the Study of Educational Leadership and Policy, his primary teaching area is Educational Leadership. He co-edits the open access peer reviewed International Journal of Policy and Leadership (www.ijepl.org ) and is active in the American Educational Research Association SIG on Research Use. Dr. Laitsch’s research examines the use and misuse of research in policy and practice; the impact of neoliberal policies on educational systems; and the role of motivation within organizational and policy change efforts

Date: March 7, 2024

Time: 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Location: Segal Building, 500 Granville Street, Vancouver   

See below for directions to the venue and instructions on how to participate online if you’re not able to attend in person.


The meeting will begin with a territorial acknowledgement and reflection, followed by the keynote address. Following a short break for informal conversations, the AGM, with the presentation of our annual report, discussion of current initiatives, and appointment of directors will take place.

Directions to the venue

The Segal Centre, at 500 Granville Street, is readily accessible by bus, Canada Line and Skytrain. It is just two blocks from Waterfront Station.

If you’re travelling by car, two of the closest parking lots are the Imperial Parking garage at 450 West Cordova St and the Diamond Parking garage at 443 Seymour St..

Participating online

If you’re not able to attend in person but want to join in online, please email us at info@publicedbc.ca and we’ll be happy to send you the link.

Stretched to the Limit – IPE/BC Forum, March 2

IPE/BC is pleased to be hosting a forum, Stretched to the Limit, in conjunction with its AGM on March 2, 2023 from 5:00-8:00 pm in the CN Strategy Room, Room 2800 in the Segal Building, 500 Granville St. Vancouver.  We’ll be hearing from:

Annabree Fairweather, Executive Director, CUFA/BC

Andrée Gacoin, Director of Information, Research, and International Solidarity, BCTF

Tracy Humphries, Executive Director, BC EdAccess

Discussant- Dan Laitsch, IPE/BC Chairperson

“Public sector services in Canada, like health care, are making headlines across the country for a crisis in service delivery. Millions of Canadians cannot find a family doctor, many can’t access critical surgeries and treatments due to lengthening waitlists, and the professionals entrusted with our care are experiencing burnout and leaving the profession in high numbers. These challenges are unfolding, even as health care takes up a larger percentage of GDP than ever before, reaching a high of 13.8% in 2020.

Education is on the verge of a similar crisis. The teacher shortage is reaching crisis proportions,  universities are crumbling, and provincial governments are treating educators as if they are the problem rather than partners in revitalization. Investment in K-12 education in BC is at historic lows, just 1.6% of GDP in 2019, half what it was in 1982. This panel will bring together senior leaders in the education sector to discuss the looming crisis facing our sector, as well as help us begin to explore what our hopes and dreams for a revitalized education sector could look like.”

We’d love to have you attend to join in the discussion, network with others committed to quality, inclusive, accessible public schools, and share your hopes and dreams for public education in BC.

Click here for more information. 



THINK TANK: Privatization and Public Education

On December 7th, IPE/BC (with the support of Your Education Matters) held a Think Tank to discuss the wide range of issues around privatization in public education in British Columbia. IPE/BC Fellows, teachers, researchers, and community leaders came together to consider what issues to address and how strategically to do so. Joel French, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta, started the conversation with a keynote address, Anti-private and Pro-public Advocacy in K-12 education: Lessons from Alberta.

IPE/BC will be considering the many ideas generating in moving forward with its strategic goal of supporting the public in public education.


IPE/BC Fellows on privatization and distributed learning

On Saturday, September 22, 2018, Larry Kuehn and Liz Blackwood will be participating in a forum, Public Education: Championing Lasting Change,  sponsored by First Call and Your Education Matters.

Their presentation…

Privatization and Distributed Learning in BC: Impacts on Educational Opportunities for Special Needs Students

With parental dissatisfaction with learning opportunities for their special needs children many are turning to private, for-profit schools that offer education primarily through distance strategies. There is a conflation of issues here including privatization and the appropriateness of distributed learning strategies that need to be more public and better understood to facilitate change.

IPE/BC presents workshop at Advocacy Works 2.0

On Saturday, April 21st IPE/BC Fellows Larry Kuehn, E. Wayne Ross and Sandra Mathison presented a workshop titled, “The Many Faces of Privatization in Education.” Speaking to activist parents and teachers, the panel outlined both obvious and more hidden ways that privatization occurs in public education and what the consequences are.


JOIN US: Vancouver School Board Election All Candidate Forum on October 2nd

October 2, 2017         7:30 -9:30 pm

Trout Lake Community Centre, Grandview Room
3360 Victoria Dr, Vancouver

Candidates running in the by-election for Vancouver School Board will be available for a question and answer session about their vision for the future of Vancouver schools.

Parents, teachers, media are invited to participate.



Update: Thanks to all the candidates who participated and to the parents and community members who enriched the conversation with thoughtful questions.



How Education Funding Matters

Through the generous support of Your Education Matters, IPE/BC sponsored an interactive forum on March 8, 2017 engaging academics, journalists, and educational analysts in conversations about how educational funding matters to the well being of public education in British Columbia. The forum focused on several key issues: the structure of education funding in BC; the use of public funds for private schools; and the potential effects on levels and types of education funding as a result of the recent Supreme Court decision reinstating key features of contractual language with regard to class size and composition.

Watch videos from the How Education Funding Matters Forum.