Last fall the British Columbia Government asked for - and received - significant public consultation, and citizens indicated that, once again, education is their top priority.
The all-party provincial Select Standing Committee on Finance & Government Services Report of Budget 2016 Consultations found - for the second year in a row - that the top priority for British Columbians is K-12 education funding. Sadly, these have previously been ignored. They cannot be ignored in Budget 2016!
The Parent Advocacy Network(PAN), in conjunction with Families Against Cuts to Education (FACE), is targeting the provincial government with a goal to deliver hundreds of paper postcards and thousands of online signatures from citizens declaring “I Stand with the Standing Committee”.
The Select Standing Committee on Finance & Government Services recommendations:
1. Provide adequate capital funding to school districts for facility improvements/seismic upgrades/additional schools
2. Provide stable, sustainable and adequate funding to enable school districts to fulﬁll responsibilities to continue to provide access to quality public education, with recognition of the increased costs school districts have incurred.
3. Review the Ministry of Education funding formula for programs and services, as well as administrative staff compensation levels to ensure adequate and competitive compensation.
Sign NOW to "Stand with the Standing Committee"!
The Government must increase Funding to BC's public schools!
Dear Premier Clark; The Minister of Finance, Hon Mike de Jong and members of the Treasury Board; The Minister of Education, Hon Mike Bernier,
Consultations held by the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services indicate that a well-funded public education system is a top priority for British Columbians. In their Report on Budget 2016 Consultations, the Committee noted that current funding levels and assistance are inadequate, which is causing significant operational and program delivery problems in schools throughout B.C.
Submissions including recommendations for K-12 education constituted a significant portion of the public input on Budget 2016, with the highest overall number of submissions received for a single topic. Respondents allocated K-12 education a combined average of 22 cents out of every dollar, a joint outcome shared only with health spending. According to the results of this survey, no other area of expense exceeded K-12 education as a spending priority. With one third of written submissions highlighting a K-12 education-related recommendation, this is clearly an area of focus for many British Columbians.
Aligning with the previous year’s requests for K-12 education, the Committee acknowledges the importance of providing adequate funding and support for this sector. The recommendations presented to the Committee from organizations and individuals across the province suggest current funding levels and assistance are inadequate, which is causing significant operational and program delivery problems in schools throughout B.C.
Three main recommendations are made for this sector. First, the Committee recommends that government ensure sufficient and timely capital funding to provide for facility improvements, seismic upgrades and also to facilitate the building of new schools in areas that are struggling to cope with increasing student numbers. The Committee ascertains that additional funding is necessary to ensure the provision of quality public education and to properly meet the increased costs that schools are currently facing. Finally, the Committee recommends a review of the Ministry of Education funding formula relating to programs, services and administrative staffing compensation, to ensure this sector is properly supported. By properly investing in this sector, the Committee suggests that economic and community goals have a better chance of being realized.
The urgent concerns of British Columbians are reflected in these recommendations and should be addressed NOW at a time when the B.C. government is proudly reporting a surplus of $277 million.
As our new Education Minister, Mr. Bernier himself has stated in the Vancouver Sun, September 2015,: “My No. 1 objective is not only that we need to make sure we’re working on our relationships with the teachers’ federation, with school trustees, superintendents and teachers — they’re the people who have really make this machine work — but my objectives really have to be about the parents here in B.C. (and their) need to feel comfortable that their kids are getting the best education that we can provide.”
Citizens now demand increased funding to BC's public schools. We Stand with the Standing Committee!
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