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A Brief to the Ministry of Education from the BC Teachers’ Federation, August 2017 

Conflict of Interest Legislation and Regulations

The issue

A proliferation of businesses wish to profit from public schools in BC and a number of organizations wish to influence content, pedagogy, and delivery of education. This is particularly the case because of the increases of education technology being purchased by schools and because we are in the process of a substantial revision of curriculum.

The BCTF brought to the attention of the previous Minister of Education two types of specific concerns. One was that of consultants leading Ministry curriculum revision teams, influencing the development of the curricula and sample material while employed by private corporations in the business of writing materials linked to the BC curricula.

Another concern brought to government was that of senior school district administrators who have formal or informal affiliations with outside interests that may be inappropriately influencing district administrators. Some, for example, have leant their names and photos in support of particular technologies being promoted.

Key recommendations

Recommendation 1

That the provincial government enact legislation to establish conflict of interest regulations for school districts and would require school secretary-treasurers, superintendents, and deputy superintendents, on an annual basis in a public report made to school boards, to make disclosures on the following:

  1. affiliations with other education-related organizations 
  2. affiliations with any corporations or businesses that do business with or intend to do business with a BC school district
  3. any and all income, honorariums, or payment for service 
  4. any in-kind services or gifts from other organizations or corporations
  5. participation in or attendance at activities organized by corporations.

Recommendation 2

That Ministry staff and consultants working on curriculum development sign an agreement indicating that they will not enter into contracts with business or corporations developing resources in related curriculum areas to sell to BC education at any level.

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