Submitted by: Central Okanagan Parent Advisory Council (COPAC); SD #23
Be it resolved that
BCCPAC insist on the Government’s commitment to an immediate significant increase in grants to School Districts in B.C., which directly address the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services’ five recommendations for K-12 Public Education in B.C. – Nov. 2014 (pgs.24-25) which read as follows:
22.Provide stable, predictable, and adequate funding to enable school districts to fulfill their responsibility to provide continued equitable access to quality public education, and to meet required repair and maintenance needs.
23. Provide adequate capital funding to school districts for facility improvements, seismic upgrades, and additional schools in rapidly growing communities.
24. Provide support for proposed new K-12 initiatives such as personalized learning and enhanced trades and technology training.
25. Provide resources to identify and address the growing number of students with special needs and those with minimal English language skills.
26. Restore the separate library line item in the Ministry of Education budget for public libraries, and commit to stable, ongoing funding.
Proposer’s Position Statement Supporting the Resolution:
In the months following the November 2014 release of the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services’ Recommendations, there has been considerable insistence from the parents of B.C.’s public schools for the Government to honour the recommendations which related to K-12 Education, and significantly increase funding. The BCSTA, School Boards and DPAC’s from many Districts, and even B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth have written letters to the Ministry of Education, MLA’s, the Finance Minister and the Premier, all expressing dismay at the current state of Public Education funding. At 0.6% per year increase, funding doesn’t even cover inflation.*
As a result of the recent B.C. Budget, the Government has now asked Boards to make cuts yet again, amounting to 54 million dollars over the next two years, and at a time when increasing cost pressures including Hydro fees, MSP premiums and inflation exacerbate the dilemma.
With the added insult of increased funding for independent schools, how can public education continue to be one of the best choices for parents in this province? The public system is rapidly becoming a second, lower tier, and kids in neighborhood schools are suffering depleted programs and facilities.
*Source: Carman, Tara. “B.C. budget runs billions short for education and health”: report, Vancouver Sun, August 7, 2014. http://www.vancouversun.com/story_print.html?id=10098996&sponsor
When asked “What programs and spending areas are most important to you?” 72% of respondents selected “K-12 and post-secondary education” as a first priority, and another 19% selected it as their second priority.
BCCPAC, Ministry of Education, BC School Trustees Association, Ministry of Finance
BC School Superintendents’ Association, BC Teachers’ Federation, BC Principals and Vice Principals’ Association
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