Focuses on Finance, History
By Denys Gigučre
The Governing Council and guests
celebrated the founding of the College of Teachers
with speeches and congratulations at the
Colleges first Council meeting May 1 and 2. But
Council members quickly turned their
attention to business with an in-depth review of
the members, chairs and vice-chairs of the
Colleges seven committees also played an
important part of Councils preparations to take
control of teachers professional body. The
results of those votes are reported in the Blue
To ensure the
Colleges financial statements and the 1997
budget were carefully reviewed, Council members added
a one-day session to the agenda June 20
to allow the Finance Committee to examine the
Colleges finances and report back to the
committees were fully in place, finances quickly
became our priority," said Donna Marie Kennedy, chair of the Governing
Council. "Of course, the Council takes financial
matters very seriously. Weve all had to make a
number of changes in recent years to tighten budgets,
bring in fiscal controls and keep an eye on
expenditures. With a new organization like the
College, this must be done right from the
particularly voiced their concerns about the $90
membership fee, which was a condition of the loan
guarantee by the Minister of Finance for the
establishment of the College. The guarantee covers
1997 to 1999 and limits the options available to the
Council to change the fee during that period. Council
members agreed to explore the options available to
them for 1998 and 1999.
teacher Paul Charron, head of the Finance
Committee, praised the way the Colleges budget
was developed. "Management has done a very
thorough job of gathering facts and using them to
construct the expense budget," he said. "We
were satisfied with the explanations and that the
budget provides for this years operations in a
line-by-line examination of the 1997 operating budget
of $11.8 million and the $4 million capital budget
and a question and answer discussion led by Charron,
the Council agreed to receive both the 1996 financial
statements and the 1997 budget.
statements for the fiscal period ending December 31,
1996 are printed in the Blue Pages.
adopted a new regulation which enables the College to
take over teacher certification from the Ministry of
Education and Training (see Teacher Qualifications
Regulation in the Blue Pages), and bylaws setting out the contents of the
Colleges public register, forms to be used and
information that members must provide to the College.
As well, it amended a bylaw to remove the fee for
name changes on the Colleges registry.
As Donna Marie
Kennedy noted, "Council members felt it was
appropriate to waive the fee as it is mostly women in
society who have to change their names. This seems
more equitable to us."
Council members appointed the members of the Election
Review Committee at the June 20 session, and adopted
a motion to set up an editorial board of three
elected and two public members for Professionally
discussion of the new Grades 1 to 8 curriculum reflected concerns
voiced by members of the profession across the
province. The members decided to send a letter to the
Minister of Education and Training to express the
Colleges concerns about the implementation of
the new curriculum. A copy of the letter is printed
in the Blue Pages.
meeting made history
Council meeting marked a historical moment for many
of the guests, who reminded members that the proposal
for a college of teachers had been germinating for
more than 30 years.
former NDP Minister of Education and Training Dave
Cooke, Bette Stephenson, Minister of Education in the
Bill Davis government, Deputy Minister of Education
and Training Veronica Lacey, Ivor
Sutherland, Registrar of the General
Teaching Council for Scotland, as well as Rod
Sherrell and Marie Kerchum, respectively Vice-Chair
and Vice-Registrar of the British Columbia College of
regaled members and guests with tales of her battles
with Registrar Margaret Wilson when Wilson was
president of the Ontario Teachers Federation.
She said shes waited a long time for a college
of teachers in Ontario.
"As an old
practising family physician and obstetrician, I can
tell you that gestation periods have been of great
interest to me," she said. "For me, this is
15 years of gestation and I have to tell you, even
elephants dont have to wait that long."
Cooke, who was
Minister during the early stages of implementation of
the College in 1994, focused on the importance of the
College for the occasion.
"All of us
who believe in the public education system recognize
that the only way that public education will survive
and strengthen is if theres an increase in
public confidence in the public system," he
said. "I see the College of Teachers as a major
initiative that will strengthen the publics
confidence in the system."
also received greetings from all over the world
as far as New Zealand and even a
special gift from the British Columbia College of
Teachers, Canadas only other self-regulating
body for teachers.
The gift is a
native traditional talking stick with four symbols on
it the raven, for wisdom; the bear, for
strength; the beaver, for hard work and industrious
behaviour; and the eagle for power, prestige and
peace. Talking sticks are used in the native culture
to give a person the right to speak in a meeting.
Teaching Council for Scotland the first
teachers college presented the Chair
with an engraved gavel with the wish that she will
seldom have to use it to bring order to the debate.
accomplished a lot in these first three days of
meetings" concluded College Registrar Margaret
Wilson. "This Council is very capable and has
set the tone for what will be an exciting and
productive year. I feel strongly that the course we
are mapping will be good for teachers and the public