Every year, a committee of MLAs from all parties in BC’s Legislative Assembly travels the province collecting recommendations for the provincial government. This year, the committee has made several sweeping recommendations to improve education funding, both on the operating side and the capital side.
The recommendations include several specific points raised in the BCTF’s submission to the MLAs.
The final report of the committee called for more funding to speed up seismic upgrades of schools, develop resources to support LGBTQ-inclusive education, provide better support for Aboriginal education initiatives, hire additional specialists, and many other significant changes.
Here are some of the highlights of the recommendations:
- Provide adequate funding for seismic upgrades, accelerate the Seismic Mitigation Program, and allow concurrent non-seismic upgrades to take place where appropriate.
- Streamline the process by which school districts access capital funding from concept to completion.
- Review the per-pupil funding formula to develop a new needs-based, stable, and sustainable model to fund actual costs, resource needs, and professional development requirements of each school district.
- Increase learning resources to school districts so that students have equitable access to books, equipment, technology, and other resources necessary to provide a quality learning environment.
- Provide funding for new materials, training and supports for the new K-12 curriculum, for LGBTQ inclusive sexual health education, as well as information about mental health and addiction.
- Ensure that teachers are well supported to implement inclusion, equity, and quality learning opportunities for all students, including diverse learners, by increasing funding to allow schools to hire more trained educational assistants and specialists.
- Provide funding to enable early identification of students with special needs, and to provide appropriate support programs, as required.
Read all the education recommendations on page 35 of the report.
On these important recommendations, BCTF President Glen Hansman said, “BC teachers will be looking at the government’s first full budget in February to see these recommendations put into action. It’s time to ensure our schools and classrooms are properly funded after so many years of neglect by the previous government.”