It was a move that sparked a long and continuing legal battle, and the B.C. government has already lost two previous decisions where the courts ruled the province stripped those provisions illegally.
Now there’s confirmation the B.C. Court of Appeal will release its decision in the third legal chapter of this case on Thursday, but it might not be the last one.
That could very likely be chapter four, and upon appeal, it would be written in the Supreme Court of Canada.
Following the latest courtroom battle, Global News took the two key issues to Simon Fraser University Education Professor Daniel Laitsch.
First question asked: Do children learn better in smaller classes?
“In the early grades, teachers are much more effective; students have a much better educational experience in smaller class sizes when you get down to around 20 or fewer students,” explains Laitsch. “As schooling continues and you get into the secondary schools, you find that the effective class size isn’t as substantial. Secondary teachers may have student-loads of 140 or 160 students, and so reducing their class size doesn’t necessarily substantially reduce their student-load.”
That leads into the second question on composition, which is directly related to the first one and goes to meeting a variety of student needs.
“If you have particular students who have more need for your services, either the gifted students who require curricular enrichment and different types of assessment, or students with learning disabilities or behaviour disabilities where you have to pay more attention to enriching the curriculum or behaviour intervention; it’s this constant trade-off between what I would like to do – what I know is best-practice, what I know is structurally appropriate – and what I have the capacity to do given the time I have in the school day – given the time I have in the class – given the assessment planning needs I have. ”