On October 6, BCCPAC President, Jen Mezei, and 2nd Vice President, Andrea Sinclair presented BCCPAC’s recommendations for K-12 public education for the 2018 Provincial Budget. The full document is available here:BCCPAC_SSC Submission_Oct 6 2017 (4)
BCCPAC has identified four key recommendations that are critical for every student to have equitable access to public education with the supports and services they need to succeed according to the School Act.
Recommendation 1: Provide Stable Funding
That the provincial government act now on the recommendations from the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services of the past three years that have called for adequate, stable, and predictable funding for K-12 public education.
Recommendation 2: Revise the Funding Model
That the provincial government with the Ministry of Education begin the process now to review the per-pupil funding formula and develop a new needs-based, stable and sustainable model for the K- 12 public system for Budget 2019. Changes to the funding formula need to reflect the actual costs of operating schools, to provide the supports and resources needed to meet the diversity of educational needs and offer a comprehensive, quality education that includes the arts.
Recommendation 3: Increase Operational Funding
That the provincial government increase K-12 public education operational funding in the February 2018 Budget to reflect the actual fixed operating costs of operating school facilities and cover all the downloaded costs to school districts, as well as inflationary costs including:
Per-pupil funding increase: Funding for high-incidence special needs and gifted students be significantly increased –
within the per-pupil funding formula – now and ongoing to schools districts, to support the early identification and assessment required to obtain “designations” needed for intervention and support for students’ academic, physical, behavioural, social and/or emotional challenges.
Supplemental Funding Increases:
- Special Needs–Funding for Special Needs Categories 1, 2 & 3 be significantly increased to meet the actual costs of delivering necessary service and supports to low-incidence special needs students.
- The implementation of a classroom resource fund similar in structure to the now dormant Learning Improvement Fund (LIF) to address unique classroom needs.
- Unique Geographic Factors–Funding be increased to implement a recruitment and retention strategy for rural and remote districts, and that transportation funding reflect actual costs.
Special Purpose Funding:
- immediate increased funding and resources must be provided to address the backlog of
students waiting for formal assessment.
- Supplemental Grant for the Implementation of the Education Plan be extended in the 2018 Budget to provide the necessary resources and technology to effectively implement new curriculum.
Recommendation 4: Increase Capital Funding
- That the provincial government and Ministry of Education honour their commitment to replace high seismic risk schools by 2025/2030 by increasing the education capital budget now and again in February 2018.
- That the Ministry of Education truly demonstrate the acceleration of SMP program by immediately approving all projects currently prioritized by school districts for SMP and move projects forward from the stage they are at with a comprehensive plan with deliverables and timelines. That the Treasury fund portables, where necessary, for temporary accommodation during seismic upgrades.
- That the Ministry of Education develop a plan and timelines to replace old schools where existing schools are close to or exceeding their life expectancy, to address the soaring deferred maintenance costs.
- That the Ministry of Education and the provincial government develop a strategy to proactive fund new school construction in areas of current and anticipated population growth. That the Ministry of Education examine and revise the current Ministry Area Standards as it is the basis for all upgrades and new school builds.