No consultation with teachers so far on Policy 713 review, says NBTA
The New Brunswick Teachers' Association says it has yet to be approached for input by the Higgs government on the review of Policy 713, which is scheduled to be completed by the first week of June.
The review of the school policy that guarantees basic protection for LGBTQ students has recently been expanded to include a section on washroom access, an issue also addressed in human rights law.
Speaking outside of the association's annual general meeting in Fredericton, Connie Keating said she has not received any information about how the review will occur and "who will be called to the table."
There is "lots of speculation" out there on why the review is happening, she said, but "we are looking for facts."
WATCH | Connie Keating of the NBTA says the goal of Policy 713 review should be to strengthen it:
And Keating said the association had not heard of any teachers having issues with Policy 713.
"What teachers do have a concern with is that there's a review going on and they worry about the review process not being transparent."
Teacher shortage priority
Keating said she never imagined a review of a policy that has only been in place for three years would be the most pressing topic for government.
There are several other issues that are directly affecting students' education, she said, including a teacher shortage that she describes as a "crisis."
Lack of resources for students and providing teachers with competitive wages to compete with other provinces are also issues that should be top of mind for government.
"Government has, first off, not recognized that we have a teacher shortage," said Keating. "And, second of all, certainly have not come forward with what we've asked for — a strategic plan on how to well-resource our schools."
Keating said her association is still wondering "Why now? Why this review? What has led to this?"
The goal of the review should be to strengthen the policy, she said, "so that the protection of all students is the ultimate goal."