Letter to the Editor: Fund Our Schools!

By Contributor
March 2nd, 2016

Dear Editor,

School District #20 is facing its largest budget deficit in its history ($1,350,000) in 2016/2017 and we know who is causing the problem:  Our Premier and her government.

Here are a few examples of why we believe this to be a fact:

BC’s Compliance Branch auditors are “clawing back” every penny of Special Education student funding possible from at-risk students.


The percentage of classes with four or more students with special needs has nearly doubled over the past decade–to one of every four BC classrooms.

In any given class, teachers work with an incredible range of kids, each with unique skills, challenges, and needs. But when the resources aren’t there to support those needs, everyone’s learning suffers.

Last year, more than 16,000 BC classrooms had four or more children with special needs –and nearly 4,000 had seven or more.


BC has lost nearly one-quarter of our specialist teachers over the past fifteen years: 22% of our ELL teachers (formerly called ESL), 24% of our special education teachers, and 37% of our teacher-librarians. 


BC’s Treasury Branch is permanently holding back over $50,000,000 of much needed “hold-back” funds from School Districts.


School Boards are being forced to close schools to receive seismic upgrade funds.


Teachers are being forced to spend over a $1,000,000 in the courts to restore illegally-stripped contract language, stripped by our Premier in 2002, that provided much needed services to our most vulnerable students.


Since 2002, BC has lost the equivalent of 3,500 full-time teachers because of our Premier’s strips. She was the Education Minister in 2002 and ordered this action. .


Our Premier and her government are apparently considering replacing our BC’s Representative of Children and Youth with a “Ministry Spokesperson” because our Premier and her ministers can’t handle the truth about children dying in Ministry “care” and hearing about the lack of resources for at-risk students in our schools.


BC is perennially #1 in child poverty in Canada.


Our Premier and her government’s spin on funding is that it has increased since 2002 but the fact is that the increase has not kept up with basic increases in costs and inflation and BC is now second to last in per student funding in Canada and is providing $1000 below the national average per student.


We need to let our Premier and her government know that it is time to follow the recommendations of its Legislative Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, which consists of a majority of her government’s MLAs, for BC to invest in public education so we can restore smaller classes and provide the right education and support to meet the unique strengths and challenges of each of our students! 

Please — log onto www.FundBCSchools.ca and make sure you voice is heard, and share this information with your friends.

Feed their minds—Fund our schools!

Thank you!

Andrew M. Davidoff, President

Kootenay Columbia Teachers’ Union

Categories: EducationIssuesOp/Ed

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