Yesterday (November 12, 2015) the Minister of Education released how his department awarded more than $35 million worth of improvement projects to schools throughout the province, as part of the Province's Routine Capital Program.
None of the funds went to Vancouver schools though VSB had requested $5 million.
Vancouver Sun article: November 12, 2015 includes the quote
"Bernier’s ministry said in a statement that it decided to exclude Vancouver after launching the funding program in August. Its original announcement made no reference to that decision.
“In the process of weighing these special capital funding applications, the government focused on school projects with the greatest return on investment and on districts outside Vancouver, which normally receive much less capital funding than Vancouver,” the ministry said."
Georgia Straight article: November 12, 2015
This is a letter from MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert, to his constituents of Vancouver West End:
November 16, 2015
Dear friends of Public Education,
I am writing you today because I wanted to share my concern that every child in Vancouver has been deliberately excluded from $35 million in education investments based on nothing more than where they live.
These crucial funds are for fire protection, heating and electrical. You can read more here and hear more here.
The Premier, and Education Minister when pressed on why Vancouver was the only school district in all of BC excluded had no explanation, just that it was Vancouver. Really?
The Education Minister’s Peace River constituency alone received four individual funding announcements, while your schools and kids get zero. Odd isn’t it?
If this concerns you, please email Christy Clark here and ask for an explanation. She should reverse this partisan policy now, and invest in our kids.
I also wanted you to know about some successful advocacy for education from parents and teachers across BC.
I am a member of the non-partisan BC Finance Committee. This year we heard from many about the need for proper investments in our education system to deal with the real struggles of increasing costs and flat lined funding.
We heard your voices, and made recommendations for the upcoming budget which
if enacted would help fix the mess this government has made.
The recommendations of the finance committee are here.
I do hope the finance minister listens to your voices.
Thanks again for your support for public education.
Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA
(Additional note from Corine: if you are writing a letter to Christy Clark, please cc: to Official Opposition Critic for Education - Rob Fleming, and also cc: to your MLA)
PAN updates and news, partner events, and other timely information relating to public school advocacy in and around Vancouver, BC.