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FACE: Families Against Cuts to Education
Parents and citizens protesting cuts to public education are bringing their game FACE to rallies in five communities across BC: Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Maple Ridge and Kelowna. These are non-partisan family-oriented rallies organized by parents from Protect Public Education Now, MLA Playdate, FixBCEd, and the Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council.
We are deeply concerned about the latest cuts to BC’s public education system announced in February’s budget; we see the impacts of years of cuts on our kids’ schools, and worry that services will be further eroded by more cuts. Additionally, we are concerned about the delay to seismic upgrading of at-risk schools. Children should be as safe as possible from earthquakes in the buildings where they spend six hours each day.
Show your FACE at NOON, SUNDAY, APRIL 12TH
In VANCOUVER: North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1550717231856110/
In VICTORIA: There will be a festive spring Picnic & Press Conference to Protect Public Education, located at the main playground in Beacon Hill Park. Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/834141053319198/
In KELOWNA, Parkinson Recreation Centre, pedestrian overpass on April 12th at noon. Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/627835717346789/
In MAPLE RIDGE, Memorial Peace Park on 224th. (Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/939378389427948/)
In NANAIMO, at Mafeo Sutton Park. https://www.facebook.com/events/647584045372831/
EVERYWHERE IN BC: If you can’t attend, at noon on Sunday, April 12, tweet or send your MLA and Education Minister Fassbender a “selfie” to show your face, with the caption “I’m showing my face for increased public education funding.” Find your MLAs email address here: https://www.leg.bc.ca/mla/3-1-7.htm
Invite your family, invite your friends, invite your neighbours to stand up for public education in British Columbia! Paint your face, make some noise!
Find the event on Facebook here.
Twitter #bced, #FACErallyBC
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO SUPPORT PUBLIC EDUCATION?
ACTION #1 SIGN PETITION NOW
ACTION #2 WRITE
to Premier Christy Clark, Education Minister Peter Fassbender, Finance Minister Mike de Jong and your local MLA. Use the template developed by the Vancouver DPAC and PPEN, below. Feel free to cut and paste, adapt or personalize it with your own message about the need for increased education funding. E-mail or post it to the addresses at the top.
Public consultation in the fall revealed that education funding is the public’s top priority. Read the Standing Committee on Finance and Government Service’s report. Let the government know that consultation without action is meaningless — BC citizens say it’s time for BC schools to be properly funded.
For more info, listen to CBC podcast with PPEN co-founder Marlene Rodgers on 2015 education budget petition:
ACT NOW…COPY AND PASTE THE LETTER FROM BELOW, PERSONALIZE AND SEND! THANK YOU FOR KEEPING THE PUBLIC IN PUBLIC EDUCATION.
Honourable Christy Clark, Premier
PO Box 9041, Stn Prov Govt,
Victoria, BC V8W 9E1
Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education
PO Box 9045, Stn Prov Govt,
Victoria, BC 9E2
Honourable Michael de Jong, Minister of Finance
PO Box 9048, Stn Prov Govt,
Victoria, BC V8W 9E2
Dear Ms. Clark, Mr. Fassbender, and Mr. de Jong,
Re: Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services Report on the Budget 2015 Consultations, November 2014
On February 17, your government will announce the 2015 Budget, which has been created after a process of public consultation. According to the Legislative Committee’s report on the consultations, a well-funded public education system is a top priority for British Columbians: Submissions on K-12 and post-secondary education constituted a large portion of the public input on Budget 2015. Furthermore, the most popular response to the online survey question, “What program and spending areas are most important to you?” was K-12 and post-secondary education. (p. 19, Report on the Budget 2015 Consultations [RB2015C]).
Despite the high priority placed on public education by the citizens of British Columbia, the Committee noted that it was presented with evidence that current funding levels are not sufficient to meet rising operating and capital costs; that districts are struggling to meet the growing demands for support for students with special needs and those with minimal English language skills; and that additional resources are required to support new initiatives. In B.C., we have the second worst per-student operational funding in Canada, with spending lagging $988 per student behind the national average. (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-595-m/81-595-m2013099-eng.pdf; Summary Elementary and Secondary School Indicators for Canada, the Provinces and Territories, 2006/2007 to 2010/2011, Table 21, p.25.)
Recognizing the need for increased education funding, the Committee made the following specific recommendations to the government:
● Provide stable, predictable, and adequate funding to enable school districts to fulfill their responsibility to provide continued equitable access to quality public education, and to meet required repair and maintenance needs. (p. 24, RB2015C)
● Provide adequate capital funding to school districts for facility improvements, seismic upgrades, and additional schools in rapidly growing communities. (p. 24, RB2015C)
● Provide support for proposed new K-12 initiatives such as personalized learning and enhanced trades and technology training. (p. 25, RB2015C)
● Provide resources to identify and address the growing number of students with special needs and those with minimal English language skills. (p. 25, RB2015C)
The urgent concerns of British Columbians are reflected in these recommendations and should be addressed now, at a time when the B.C. government is proudly reporting a budget surplus. We cannot afford to continue to erode public education through underspending. Education is the bedrock on which we build our economy, our democracy, our social structures, and community values. The more that public education is undermined, the greater the inequities in our society will become. I call upon you and your government
to implement the Committee’s recommendations for increased public education funding, for the good of our children and all British Columbians.