Today, the BC government announced a projected provincial budget surplus of over $1.9 billion even as school districts around the province are considering more school closures and deeper cutbacks. BCTF President Glen Hansman reacted to the news by calling on the government to make an immediate and substantial re-investment in BC's public education system.
“With the BC government sitting on a $1.9 billion surplus, it's time to significantly increase education funding to ensure our students and teachers get the support they need in the province's classrooms,” said Hansman. “Back in the spring, the government made several small one-off funding announcements in response to growing parent and community advocacy, but none of those one-offs have made the impact that is really needed. With such a massive surplus, it's time for the government to commit to the long-term, stable, and adequate education funding that parents, trustees, adult learners, and teachers have been calling for.”
Hansman also pointed out that significant funding and resources are required if the government wants its revamped curriculum to be successfully implemented.
“Teachers across BC are asking the government to back up their curriculum changes with additional and ongoing funding and resources,” said Hansman. “For teachers to offer students the best of the new curriculum, we need up-to-date textbooks, science equipment, technology, and other supplies.
“BC currently funds public education $1,000 less per student than the national average. It's long past time our government brought BC up to at least the national average. Increased education funding will mean smaller classes, better support for children with special needs, and more one-on-one time for all students. The money is there, it's time to make it happen.”