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News Talk 980
PAN's statement to the board
On April 1, 2016, the Parent Advocacy Network for Public Education (PAN) sent its “PAN Questions on BC Budget 2016: Ministry of Education” document to the BC Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, the provincial political parties, and the media.
Here are the answers and information that we have gathered as of April 24, 2016, through dialogue with the Ministry of Education and further research.
PAN will issue another update as answers become available.
IMPORTANT ADVOCACY MOMENT
Monday April 25 at 7:00pm is the final VSB public consultation session before Trustees vote on the proposed budget for the coming school year.
This proposed VSB Budget reflects 10+ years of administrative and other cuts and NOW more than ever before, this budget will be materially damaging to education in Vancouver and the equity within our system. These $24M in cuts will be detrimental to ALL our children in their classrooms and will be felt for years to come.
Parent Advocacy Network members believe this budget is unsupportable and it's time to TAKE A STAND!
Once again PAN will be presenting at 7pm (we are #2 on the Agenda) - and this time we are asking Trustees to unite and REJECT the Budget and DEMAND the Government provide adequate and stable funding for public education as is their legal obligation.
We invite all parents/guardians, grandparents, aunts and uncles and families to STAND with us and WEAR RED as a visible indication of protest - BC Budget is in the Black and BC Ed is in the RED - and support the #BCEDINRED campaign
This is our best opportunity to make a visible statement and protest the continued government underfunding.
We NEED your support - Please make an effort to Join us and TAKE A STAND!
When its our turn to present, we ask all those in attendance to STAND UP in their RED!
WHO: Parent Advocacy Network members and all parents/PACs in Vancouver
WHAT: Wear RED and STAND with us
WHEN: 7:00-7:30pm, Mon Apr 25
WHERE: Auditorium/gymnasium at Tupper Secondary School, 419 East 24th Avenue, near Fraser & King Edward/25th
RSVP: Reply YES to this email!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT.
.There is a lot of different stuff going on right now at the VSB which could use some parent/public input. Here are just the highlights for the week ahead. If you are unable to attend any, please read the final budget proposal when it comes out Tuesday evening and complete the surveys on the strategic plan and long range facilities plan.
Monday, April 18, 7pm- VSB Board Meeting. A recap of the committee meetings with motions coming from those plus one introduced by trustee Fraser Ballantyne on "Talk with our Kids about Money" day.
Tuesday, April 19, 5pm - VSB Committee III/V Meeting. Senior staff will introduce their final budget proposals for 2016/17. The public is invited to attend as observers. We will have a chance to speak to it on Monday, April 25, 5pm (see previous blog).
Wednesday, April 20, 5pm - VSB Committee II: Planning & Facilities Meeting. Topics include updates on the LRFP consultations and the Capital Plan. The public is invited to attend as observers.
Thursday, April 21, 7pm - VSB Strategic Plan Workshop at Templeton Secondary. This is the only workshop planned for phase II. If you are unable to attend the workshop, please fill out a survey. There are two: one for individuals and one for groups, to be completed by May 6. The strategic plan is what we want to happen inside the schools for the next 5 years. Last week PAN presented to Committee III on how important it is to include the Arts.
Sunday, April 24, 1pm - Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP) Workshop and Open House at River District. If you haven't attended one, we strongly recommend you do. They have a lot of information and staff available to question, and they really want to get public input on what criteria to use when determining which schools to close, use for temporary accommodation, amalgamate, etc. By the end of this June, the senior staff will have used this criteria to present the trustees with a list of schools they recommend for closure for September 2017 (the process takes that long). If you are unable to attend this one, the last one is on Saturday April 30, 1pm at the World Arts Centre, SFU downtown campus. There is also a survey you can fill out.
Update April 18: The locations for the 25th and 28th meetings have been changed to Secondary schools.
Update April 22: The time of the 25th meeting has been changed to 7pm following DPAC's "Celebration of Public Education" event outside the school. PAN is presenting 2nd. Wear RED and STAND UP for public education.
Thank you to all the PACs, parents, advocates, MLAs and community members who were able to make it to at least one of the three evenings of public consultation, April 12-14.
Here is PAN's presentation.
Here are other presentations which gave PAN permission to share.
Here are the VSB agendas with links to the presentations they received.
The fight is not over. On Tuesday, April 19 the VSB senior staff members will present their final recommendations for the 2016/17 budget. The meeting will be at 5pm at the VSB Board Office and is open to the public to attend. Agenda.
On Monday, April 25 starting at 5pm in the large gymnasium at Sir Charles Tupper Secondary, will be our last opportunity to voice our concerns with this budget. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to register to present at this meeting. PAN has already asked for a spot as they are filling up fast.
On Thursday, April 28 starting at 7pm in the large gymnasium at Gladstone Secondary the trustees will deliberate and vote on the budget. This is also open to the public to attend.
FACE (Families Against Cuts to Education) has provided a very simple email tool here. Use and share!
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL VANCOUVER PARENTS
April 11: VSB just added a third evening of public consultations. Wednesday, April 13 7-11pm at the VSB Board Office, 1580 W. Broadway
April 10: updated to included revised budget proposals and public consultation information.
Please read and share widely & quickly through your networks so we reach as many parents as possible.
Parents need to stand up and demonstrate wide public concern about the VSB budget to help pressure the Government.
We strongly encourage all PACs to register (via email to email@example.com) and send at least 1 person to present at a VSB Public Budget Consultation. Please send as many parents as possible to attend.
Currently the sessions on April 12 and April 14 are full but VSB is extending the time to 10:30pm and may be adding a third session on April 13 (VSB will announce via social media on Monday). The need for more sessions means .... the parents are speaking out!
The Vancouver School Board was facing a budget shortfall of $27.26 million dollars. The April 4 funding announcement by the Ministry of Education and the fact that no students are registered to attend Henderson Annex this fall have reduced this by $3.2 million to just over $24 million – this is still the worst projected shortfall since 2002.
The School Act prohibits a School Board from presenting an unbalanced budget so many cuts have been proposed.
The Proposed Budget
The proposed cuts — HUGE, highly detrimental and long-lasting to services for our children, which we may never get back — will have SIGNIFICANT impact to ALL children across this district.
They will affect every family and the effects of the cuts will be felt for years to come.
The CUTS include:
The public have been invited to give feedback to the VSB regarding this proposed budget on April 12 at 7pm at Van Tech Secondary School and April 14th at 5pm at the VSB Offices on West Broadway.
We ask parents and strongly urge each and every school/PAC to send at LEAST one representative to express concerns and indicate how these budget cuts will directly affect children in their school.
If you are unsure how your school or your child(ren) will be affected, ask your administrator who will easily be able to tell you.
PLEASE REGISTER ASAP - via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The April 12 and 14 public sessions are currently full but they have extended the time and will add another session on April 13 if needed.
Your "speech" need only be one or two minutes. What is most important is showing wide public concern about the contents of this budget to put pressure on the Government.
PLEASE EVERYONE ACT NOW AND PLAN TO ATTEND ON APRIL 12 @ 7:00pm, AND/OR APRIL 14 @ 5:00pm
VSB 2016/17 budget process and timeline
Updated preliminary budget proposals
FROM A PAN PARTNER: The Show Up for Gifted Education! rally will be outside Van Tech at 6:00 pm. We will set up a mini-educational fair where students from gifted programs will display their work. If your child would like to take part, that would be wonderful. There is an event page on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/218537988502232/permalink/219004938455537/
VSB cuts will eliminate many services including gifted education. Currently, 1200 students per year are being serviced through all VSB gifted programs. Although many of these programs are in elementary schools, many of these students move on to mini schools in high schools and the mini schools are losing their support staff.
Challenge Centre: eliminated
Seminar program: eliminated
Mentorship program: eliminated
Part time psychologist: eliminated
Gifted coordinator: eliminated
If you have parents and students at your school who will be affected and upset by these cuts, please consider forwarding them items 2-6 on this list. Items 1 and 7 are things you can do directly.
1. Write an email to VESTA, detailing your concerns, as they will be advocating for us and students at the upcoming stakeholder consultations.
2. Direct parents and students to Marlene Rodgers. She is the point person for parent mobilization.
3. Parents can also check out PAGES (Parents Advocating for Gifted Education in Schools) for updates on how to help. It is here: https://www.facebook.com/BCPAGES/
4. Parents and students can write letters to trustees, sharing their stories of what gifted education means to them. Their emails can be found here:https://www.vsb.bc.ca/about-vsb/trustees
5. Parents and students can sign up to speak at the public hearings by going here: https://www.vsb.bc.ca/node/6516
6. Parents and students can simply show up at the hearing with signs and support.
7. Please consider forwarding this to your colleagues (via personal email only), so they can forward to their parents.
If these cuts go through, this will be the death of gifted education in the VSB. MACC will not survive without the outreach programs, and soon high school programs will be affected as well.
Update: Presentation here.
On Wednesday, April 13, in the midst of the largest budget deficit in decades, PAN will be presenting a plea for a renewed vision and commitment from the VSB to restoring a comprehensive arts education for all children in elementary Vancouver.
The arts are essential to the intellectual and social emotional development of young children and to the health of our future society. They are also part of the BC curriculum and central to the core competencies that form the underlying framework of the new curriculum (critical thinking, communication and cultural identity). Given that participation in the arts for children and youth is also shown to significantly improve outcomes for disadvantaged children and youth in academic success, employment and civic engagement, the loss of arts from schools is also a matter of social justice. All children need and deserve education in the arts to enable them to develop their full potential.
Over the last two decades, the arts have been decimated through loss of district staffing, specialist teachers and resources. Only half of elementary schools have music teachers, only 2 have art teachers. Arts programs are now largely sustained through private donation or PAC fundraising which creates inequalities of access between schools. This years budget will see the loss of the last Fine arts district staff person and therefore the loss of all arts enrichment programs – which for many children are their only exposure to the arts. And finally, the few remaining arts spaces utilized in the district threaten to be eliminated under the ministry’s 95% capacity mandate to rationalize schools.
While we fully acknowledge the fiscal constraints of the district, we are asking trustees to commit to re-prioritizing arts education within Vancouver Schools as part of their 5 year strategic plan. To this end we are hosting a roundtable think tank drawing on arts experts across educational and civic communities to begin a creative conversation and think of ways we can sustainably work together to ensure all Vancouver children have access to a quality arts education as part of their elementary schooling. We invite you to show your support for this motion by attending the public presentation at Committee III of the Vancouver School Board on Wednesday, April 13 at 5pm. A large number of attendees gives a visible indication of parent priorities. There may also be opportunity to speak with trustees. If you are unable to attend we encourage you to write to the parent advocacy network and/or your trustee and express your concerns for the loss of the arts within Vancouver public schools.
Update April 26: Please read these questions in conjunction with our April 26 post which contains some answers as well as some updates/corrections to the figures in this document.
April 1, 2016
“Why has the government de-prioritized public education?” Parent Advocacy Network for Public Education Questions BC Budget 2016
VANCOUVER -- Following the February 16 announcement of BC Budget 2016, and in anticipation of the Ministry of Education budget estimates being discussed in the Legislature, members of the Parent Advocacy Network for Public Education (PAN) have been examining the funding figures and have posed a number of questions about the K-12 education budget.
Taking into account inflation, Ministry of Education funding has fallen by 11% since 2002. Furthermore, the percentage of nominal GDP that BC spends on education as a function has also decreased since 2002. Economic growth has not been reflected in education funding. Our over-arching question is “Why has the government de-prioritized public education?”
Supporting this over-arching question are several detail-oriented questions that result from a close examination of the education funding figures. As citizens, parents, and taxpayers in British Columbia, PAN members are looking for answers to these questions in order to understand how funding is allocated to the school districts, independent (private) schools, and other partners.
PAN has submitted these questions to the BC Liberal government, the NDP opposition, the Green Party, and the Independent MLAs in the Legislature, as well as to the media. PAN hopes to gain a better understanding of the budget details in the answers to these questions. PAN also hopes that by asking these questions, and prompting others to ask them too, some light will be shed on the stark reality that education funding in BC is inadequate. It is time to take action to put education back in the priority position it deserves.
• Web: http://www.panvancouver.ca/
• Twitter: @PAN_Vancouver
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/PANVancouver
• Email: email@example.com
About the Parent Advocacy Network
The Parent Advocacy Network for Public Education (PAN), formed in 2015, is a grassroots collective of parents from over 49 schools (and growing) across Vancouver who share a commitment to public education. Our mission is to connect parents across the district to support one another in advocacy. The network enables us to share information, experiences and stand together in protecting public education.
Jennifer Stewart, 604-790-9929, firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2016 Parent Advocacy Network for Public Education. All rights reserved.
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