Education Cutbacks Focus of Conference
Prince George, B.C. – The funding of education in BC, no matter at what level, appears to be at a critical stage and with that in mind, a community forum is scheduled for the College of New Caledonia later this month on the issue of “Education shortfalls and cuts in the North.”
Organizers of the event from CUPE say that chronic underfunding and cuts to public education are hurting communities in the North and province-wide. They say public education is essential to the success of our communities, yet our education system “has faced more than a decade of drastic cuts, funding shortfalls and unfunded provincial mandates in universities, colleges and the K-12.”
Organizers cite the fact that CNC’s funding has essentially remained frozen for more than 5 years. As a result, the college is considering eliminating counselling services and the daycare, reducing course offerings, and laying off faculty.
It is also suspending the dental assistant program (the only one north of Kelowna) and the dental hygiene program (the only one outside the Lower Mainland). Both programs have been in operation for 48 years and 28 years respectively. 88% of the graduates of these programs find work north of 100 Mile House.
The Burns Lake District campus will be hit the hardest, laying off approximately 20% of the staff and making significant cuts to the innovative programs and services that it provides to meet community needs.
The April 20th forum at CNC’s Prince George campus is scheduled to begin at 5pm with food provided. This will be followed by speakers and an open microphone at 6pm. People in outlying communities seeking transportation can call: 250-596-3221.
The event is sponsored by CUPE Locals 3742, 3799, 4951, and 4991.