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After a meeting of the BC Liberal’s Learning Round Table, it is clear that this government has no plan to help students in overcrowded classes. The government’s own data shows students are worse off today than in 2005 when BC teachers first went on strike to improve learning conditions for students across the province, BC Teachers’ Federation President Irene Lanzinger said today.

“Once again, the government is breaking their own legislation,” said Lanzinger. “Even worse, Premier Gordon Campbell and Minister of Education Shirley Bond are once again breaking their promise to BC’s students, parents, and teachers. There are more overcrowded classes now than in 2005–06 when the government first created the Learning Round Table and set limits in legislation. The data put forward by the minister shows her government has no plan and the round table continues to fail.”

The data presented by the minister of education show 3,336 class-size violations with more than 30 students for the 2008–09 school year. That is up from 3,179 in 2007–08.

There are also 10,985 class-composition violations this year. That means there are close to 11,000 classes with four or more students with special needs. That number is up from 10,313 in 2007–08. In 2005–06, when BC teachers first went on strike, there were 10,942 violations.

“It has been more than three years since the strike and things are worse today for BC students,” said Lanzinger. “The BC Liberal government promised action but they never provided the funding to get the job done. After years of delay and stalling, teachers had hoped that the minister would come to the round table with a plan, but all she brought with her was more evidence of her government’s failure.

“If the round table is going to succeed and move forward, teachers expect to see some new commitments in the upcoming provincial budget.”

For more information on education funding in BC, read The numbers tell the story.

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For more information, contact Rich Overgaard, BCTF media relations officer, at 604-871-1881 (office) or 604-340-1959 (cell).

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