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After a decade of cuts, BC now ranks last in Canada on seven key measures of education funding, according to the latest Statistics Canada data. Per-student funding in BC is almost $1,000 below the national average. These and other worrisome facts are featured in a new booklet called Better schools for BC: The numbers tell the story. Produced by the BC Teachers’ Federation, the booklet is part of teachers’ efforts to highlight the importance of public education as an issue in the upcoming election. See it here: http://www.bctf.ca/IssuesInEducation.aspx?id=29502

Government underfunding, collective bargaining, political action and many more issues will be on the agenda at the BCTF’s 97th Annual General Meeting taking place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Vancouver from Saturday, March 16 through to Tuesday, March 19. See the agenda here: http://www.bctf.ca/uploadedFiles/Public/NewsAndEvents/AGM/AGM2013Agenda.pdf.

“Now more than ever, teachers feel the responsibility to raise our voices and speak out for a quality public education system,” said BCTF President Susan Lambert.  “No matter which party is in government, it’s our duty to advocate for the teaching and learning conditions that will meet the diverse needs of our students.” 

After serving three years as president of the BCTF, Lambert will be stepping down from her post at the end of this school year. At present, BCTF First Vice-President Jim Iker is running uncontested for the position of president, but other candidates may declare themselves at the AGM.

Some newsworthy items on the agenda include:

Saturday, March 16:  2:00 p.m. –President’s report by Susan Lambert followed by leadership report from BCTF Executive cOMMITTEE. 

Sunday, March 17:    2:00 p.m. – Speech by Mi’kmaq activist, educator, and comedian Candy Palmater, followed by resolutions on Aboriginal education and support for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations. 

Monday March 18:   12:30 p.m. – Teachers will demonstrate outside the provincial cabinet offices at Canada Place to raise awareness of how students are still waiting for better learning conditions in BC schools. 

Media please note:    Much of the meeting will be open to journalists, but some discussions will be conducted in closed sessions.  The hashtag for the event is #BCTF2013. 

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