Yesterday, elected trustees of the Vancouver Board of Education met with the provincially-appointed Special Auditor who has been tasked with reviewing the board’s finances.
According to COPE trustee, Jane Bouey, “I am perplexed as to why the auditor was given instructions to get trustees bios as opposed to looking into if the Vancouver system is truly underfunded as the trustees, teachers, students and parents have maintained.” She continues, “it seems to me that the special auditor has been given politically motivated direction that has very little to do with education.”
COPE Trustee, Al Blakey, who has 33 years experience as a teacher and 9 years as a trustee on the school board, suggested that the accountants "don’t understand education and seem to be grappling with understanding that, like MLA’s, we are elected. The direction we received from the Special Advisor to continue with our budget process, shows that the appointment has nothing to do with our current funding situation." He continues, "the question of whether or not Vancouver has sufficient funding to meet the needs of our students – does not appear to be in the direction to the Special Advisor."
"It is incredibly disappointing for all the student and parents who had hoped that maybe the Advisor would be taking their message of underfunding to the Minister. Instead, it seems to be an act that questions the political wisdom of the voters of Vancouver," said COPE Trustee Al Wong.
All of the COPE elected representatives stand behind the Vancouver Board of Education and encourage the Minister of Education to do the right thing and provide for costs being downloaded on the school boards in order to provide quality public education.