“A heavy handed attempt to directly silence the Vancouver Board of Education’s education advocacy and to frighten other Boards into silence,” declared COPE Trustees Wong, Bouey and Blakey about the government’s appointment of a special advisor to examine the Vancouver Board of Education’s financial performance.
According to Trustee Jane Bouey, “We fully support the response of our Chairperson Patti Bacchus in rejecting the insulting comments of the Minister and in offering cooperation to the advisor who we are certain will uphold the Board’s assertions and the integrity of our staff.” Trustee Allan Wong continues, “the fact that the Minister informed the Board through the media first makes it clear that she is playing a political game. Our focus is providing the best educational future for the students in Vancouver schools.”
“Rather that help by providing the necessary funding, the Minister is again displaying her ignorance of the open educational budget process in Vancouver and the legal responsibilities of the Board to it employees,” Blakey added. The board has contractual obligations to begin lay-offs on May 1st. Finalizing a budget at the end of June would be in contravention of the VBE’s legal responsibilities and "create chaos in schools" according to Blakey.
COPE supports the decision to cooperate with the Special Auditor and hopes that if the auditor finds that, indeed, Vancouver is underfunded, the Minister will abide by the recommendations.
COPE calls for support for the Vancouver Board of Education and for public education in the province.
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Information: Rachel Marcuse, firstname.lastname@example.org 604-312-9057