Families Against Cuts to Education Rally
April 12, noon
On Sunday, April 12, 2015, at noon, at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s north plaza, members of several parent-led groups in Vancouver, including Vancouver DPAC, are holding a rally called Families Against Cuts to Education (FACE). This will be a family-friendly non-partisan event where parents and other citizens can show their support for an adequately funded public education system. For further details, the Facebook event page is at https://www.facebook.com/events/1550717231856110/, and more information is available at ppen.ca, mlaplaydate.wordpress.com, and fixbced.tumblr.com.
For the following reasons, Vancouver DPAC is urging parents to speak up for public education:
Prior to the February 17, 2015, announcement of the province’s budget, DPAC encouraged parents to write to the government requesting that it heed the Legislative Finance Committee’s unanimous recommendationsthat public education be adequately funded.
To the extreme disappointment of Vancouver parents and parents throughout the province, the 2015/16 Budget announced on February 17 does not raise public education funding to an adequate level; on the contrary, it provides far less than adequate funding, and requires further cuts by school boards who have already faced more than a decade of cuts.
A supposed increase in funding covers only the costs associated with the negotiated teachers’ settlement reached last September. It does not cover the 4% rise in MSP premiums, nor does it cover inflation and other fixed costs, let alone address funding shortfalls that boards were already facing. The failure to fund rising fixed costs means an effective cut to operational funding.
School boards are required to cut another $29 million this year from their already-stressed budgets, and another $25 million next year. The provincial government has stated that these are $54 million in administrative cuts which they expect boards to make; several school boards as well as the BC School Trustees Association have written to the government expressing alarm and stating that there is no “low hanging fruit” left to be cut. These cuts will affect classrooms.
he amount of capital funding allocated to public schools has been cut by over $40 million. This means that areas that desperately need new schools will have to wait even longer for them to be built.
Furthermore, the seismic upgrading of schools that was supposed to be completed by 2020 will not be completed until 2025 outside Vancouver and 2030 in Vancouver.
he cuts to public education come in the same budget that contains an $800 million surplus, a $200 million tax cut for wealthy British Columbians, and a $30 million increase in funding to independent schools. Given these circumstances, why are our children being forced to bear the brunt of austerity measures? Why delay ensuring the safety of the buildings in which our children spend six hours a day?
For all these reasons, Vancouver DPAC urges parents to speak up against funding cuts. Invest in our children NOW; they are the future!
Click here for Secretary-Treasurer Rick Krowchuck's presentationto parents at Vancouver DPAC's Budget Forum February 26th.
The Vancouver School Board Trustees have written this letter to the Finance Minister regarding the 2015 budget click here to read it.
Click here for Vancouver DPAC's February 19th
Press Release in Response to the Budget Announcement
Click here to find February's Newsletter
Click here for a DPAC President Melanie Antweiler's letter to the Premier and Finance Minister regarding the 2015 Budget Consultations.