School Boards Hamstrung by Political Uncertainty
Prince George, B.C. – As we await the end of an unfamiliar lull on the political front in the province the head of the BC Teachers Federation is calling for a halt to the uncertainty that has paralyzed government decision-making.
Specifically, BC school districts have a June 30th deadline for finalizing budgets for the next school year and BCTF President Glen Hansman says without government action there is nothing in place to ensure school boards and trustees have the full funding required to deliver the smaller classes, more specialist teachers and better supports for children with special needs that were promised by all three political parties.
Hansman says with only two weeks left before the budget deadline “too many districts are still contemplating cuts to teaching, support staff and other frontline services instead of pushing for the provincial funding they are owed.”
He says “BC students need all of the adults in the system, like teachers and education assistants that are already in place, plus the additional teachers mandated by the agreement on implementing the teachers’ collective agreement” that was restored by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Hansman says “teachers, parents and the public expect improvements for students after all these years, not more shell games with public education funding. School boards shouldn’t be using the Supreme Court of Canada ruling to make cuts to educational services.”
The BC Legislature is to resume sitting on Thursday, June 22nd with the reading of the Throne Speech. That will be followed by up to six days of debate which then will be followed by an anticipated confidence vote. It could see the Liberal government of Christy Clark defeated and removed from office, with the Lieutenant-governor then asking NDP leader John Horgan to form a government.
In the meantime, the June 30th budget deadline looms for BC school districts.