Thank you to all 735 individuals representing 70 schools and 70 PACs plus community members of Vancouver School District for signing PAN's statement to Minister Bernier re: VSB Budget.
May 10, 2016
Parent Advocacy Network Statement to the Minister of Education
RE: VSB Budget
The 2016/17 BC budget indicates that we live in a province of relative prosperity. Unfortunately,
public education is not being funded accordingly, much to the detriment of our future society.
The current Vancouver School Board budget shortfall of $24 million is the result of over a
decade of structural underfunding by the Provincial Government. Every year, underfunding
forces communities across BC to compete for increasingly scarce dollars. It forces school
boards to make impossible choices over which vital programs to save or to cut. It forces PACs
to fundraise inordinate amounts of money to compensate for these losses, creating divisiveness
and inequalities between schools.
Despite the recommendations of the Select Standing Committee on Finance – and therefore the
priorities of the citizens of this province – the provincial government has not even increased
expenditures to sufficiently cover inflation. At least 29 districts across the province are facing
budget shortfalls this year, totalling over $82 million. This is despite over a decade of cuts to
programs and student services, including school closures. Even districts like Surrey, with
increased enrollment and schools over capacity, are experiencing shortfalls. In Vancouver, $80
million (adjusted for inflation and enrolment changes) of funding would be required to restore the
same level of services to students that existed in 2001. Focusing on declining enrollment and
surplus space serves to obscure the actual problem: a flawed and inadequate funding model
that is crippling our once internationally acclaimed public education system.
The Parent Advocacy Network stands with VSB Trustees in saying, “Enough is Enough.”
ALL children, regardless of their economic background, race, or ability, have the right in this
province to a quality education that meets their learning needs and gives them the opportunity
to achieve their full potential. This is the goal of public education as set forth in the BC School
Act – for the health and benefit of our entire society.
We, Parent Advocacy Network and the 735 undersigned people, strongly urge you to act
immediately to restore adequate and sustainable funding for public education to this year's
budget. Investing in the provision of a quality education for all children in this province is not
only your legal obligation, it is the key to true prosperity.
pdf version with the 735 names
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