BC Education Minister Peter Fassbender has said, "School districts will need to develop savings plans to pay for the agreement…” (A tentative agreement with CUPE and other education unions)
The Liberal’s call for “savings plans” is really a call for School Districts to make cuts.
School Districts are required by law to balance their budgets. To do this, school boards make cuts that have a negative impact on students – often those who need the most support - students such as those with learning challenges, who live in poverty, or face racism and homophobia.
After more than a decade of provincial underfunding, “saving plans” are impossible.
The issue is also more than devastating cutbacks. The reality is that when the Province downloads costs to school districts, those costs are also often downloaded onto parents. Parents must find childcare or take time off work, as Districts lengthen holidays. Parents pay fees, and fundraise for basic educational necessities. This is particularly hard on lower income parents.
School Districts are forced to increasingly rely on private donations from corporations, from parents, and from the pockets of teachers.
Public education must be fully funded by the Provincial Government. The Province cannot refuse to pay for collective agreements that the Province itself has negotiated