Some people are questioning the price tag of a two-day disciplinary hearing in Regina that amounted to tens of thousands of dollars.
The hearing, held by the Saskatchewan Professional Teachers Regulatory Board (SPTRB), was in response to a teacher throwing a marker at a student.
Various posters on the 980 CJME Facebook page wondered how the cost over the two days tallied $54,288.76.
“We don’t expect costs in this range for all cases. Every case is unique,” said Jason Vogelsang, assistant registrar at the SPTRB. “In their decision, the discipline committee noted that these costs would not normally be expected in similar type of matters because there are other processes available to resolve matters without the need of a hearing.”
Vogelsang said an example of that would be what’s called a consent resolution process. He added if a hearing is necessary there are mechanisms that could reduce the length and cost, such as a guilty plea, an agreed statement of facts or a joint penalty submission.
While the teacher guilty of throwing the marker is responsible for $10,000, the SPTRB will incur the cost of the remaining $44,000.
The SPTRB is funded by the Ministry of Education. In the 2016-17 fiscal year, the board received a grant of nearly $1.7 million from the province. Vogelsang added they do receive some additional revenue from application fees for certification.
Breaking down the costs of a hearing, he explained legal fees before and during a hearing can add up. He said there are also expenses related to hearing logistics, such as for a court reporter and travel expenses for members of the discipline committee and witnesses.
“There are certain things that are the cost of doing business in the regulatory world. We try to minimize those costs wherever possible,” Vogelsang said.
It was the first hearing of this kind for the relatively new board, which issues certification along with discipline, among other duties.
Vogelsang agreed it was a learning experience.