Today, COPE school trustee, Jane Bouey, stood with MLA’s Robin Austin, Diane Thorne, and Jenny Kwan, as well as school trustees Chak Au ( Richmond ), Susan Skinner ( North Vancouver ) and Diana Mumford ( Burnaby ) to call attention to the dire situation school boards are facing in the face of provincial government funding cuts.

While Vancouver and other districts are attempting to find creative ways to manage that won’t affect classroom learning, Trustee Bouey echoed other school trustees’ concerns that if this year is bad, next year will be even worse. According to Bouey, “arguments by the provincial government that they are, in fact, increasing funding to education are incredibly misleading. It’s like telling your child that you’re raising their allowance, but that now, they have to pay rent.”

Additional costs downloaded onto school boards include:

– cancellation of the annual facilities grant

– HST – this could mean an addition million dollar cut in Vancouver

– rising MSP premiums

– H1N1 costs – the Vancouver school board estimates that H1N1 will cost the district an extra $300,000 just for supplies

– cuts to Parent Advisory Councils

According to Trustee Bouey, “unlike the provincial government itself, school boards aren’t allowed to run deficits. Next year, we may find that we aren’t able to make the devastating cuts that are being asked of us. Investing in the education sector is a great economic stimulus, and instead, we have a government massacring public education.”

COPE school trustees stand with trustees from other districts and local MLA’s

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