The Government of British Columbia’s Budget 2022 announced today reflects a status quo funding of public education in BC, according to BC Teachers’ Federation President Teri Mooring. “Unfortunately, in the context of high inflation rates, the overall increase of 3.83% in public school funding for K–12 is expected to fall short of the high rates of inflation we are seeing across Canada,” said Mooring.
The most significant expenditure in the budget is for increases to student enrolment, with more than 23,000 additional students expected to enter BC’s public school system over the next three years. Funding for these projected increases is reflected in the budget.
The second largest expenditure is the transfer of responsibility for childcare to the Ministry of Education. “It is critical that any and all plans for integrated childcare in BC schools, such as the seamless childcare program, be fully funded; otherwise, it will further exacerbate the overall underfunding of our public schools,” Mooring added.
Mooring noted a number of concerning omissions from today’s budget announcement by the Minister of Finance, including:
- no plans to address the critical teacher shortage in BC, which disproportionately affects disabled students and learners with diverse needs.
- no meaningful changes to address the systemic underfunding of inclusive education to support equitable access and outcomes for students with disabilities and diverse needs.
- no funding earmarked for resources and training to support reconciliation in schools.
- no dedicated funding for K–12 as part of the COVID-19 Response and Recovery budget, despite the continued costs as BC moves into recovery, particularly around further improvements to ventilation systems.
The BCTF will be releasing a detailed analysis of the provincial budget in the coming days.