Public schools in British Columbia are in crisis.
This year again school districts in British Columbia will face a funding shortfall. Our district will run out of the “surplus” that they have been funding government cuts and shortfalls with for the last five years, in the 2009-10 school year. We cannot forget that much of this money came from the closure and selling off of school buildings and lands. For the coming school year (2009-10) the province has not increased the money per student funding that they give to schools.
The increase that the Liberals so readily brag about, Education Minister Shirley Bond’s “highest funding ever,” is not realistic and does not even keep up with inflation. Here are the facts, which government spin doctors cannot refute: Education funding in B.C. has not kept up with inflation; B.C. trails behind other provinces in educational spending (please check Statistics Canada July 2008 report Summary Public School Indicators for the Provinces and Territories 1999/2000 to 2005/2006, p.44.); B.C.’s student-educator ratio is the highest in Canada.
Educators, parents and community members must be proactive. Talk to teachers. Question the candidates, make politicians accountable. If education is an “essential service” then demand that the government fund it as one.