Parents have been writing letters, attending meetings and holding rallies in support of school programs and services that are threatened by budget cuts.
Dozens gathered Monday at the Vancouver board of education to make a final plea before trustees vote on the 2014-15 budget proposals Wednesday. Upset parents in the Tri-Cities plan a demonstration Friday in front of MLA Linda Reimer’s constitutency office.
Usually it is one or two items in the budget proposals that spark the protests. This year, in Vancouver, it was the possible loss of the elementary band and strings program and an athletic coordinator position.
But school board budgets are complicated, and few parents have such a thorough understanding of how the money is spent that they can suggest alternatives.
The BCCPAC board of directors wants to correct that. In a resolution to the annual general meeting May 31 – June 1, it is proposing changes that would improve the transparency and clarity of preliminary budget information in the hope of enhancing parent consultations.
The resolution says budget information must be complete, easy to understand and presented in a comparable format in all districts. Furthermore, it should include a list of all budgetary items that are not mandated by the Education Ministry, provide choice in measures that will increase or decrease the size of the budget and make the information available before Feb. 28 of each year.
“This resolution is designed to provide parents with accurate information, choice and the time for careful consideration of the alternatives,” the resolution says. “This will lead to boards making better decisions about what parents want in their children’s schools and a better education system.”
Find the full resolution – and join the conversation – here.