Premier Christy Clark
Victoria, BC, V8V 1X4
Dear Premier Clark,
As the Vancouver School Board struggles to create a budget with the limited resources allocated for 2014-15, trustees have called for public input about Eduction Cuts. The Board, parents and citizens are faced with terrible fiscal trade-offs—music programs versus Gifted Education consultants, versus athletic coordinators, versus counsellors—versus other critical educational supports. As well, the VSB is considering more District Closure Days. And they are not alone. The Vancouver Sun, Apr. 17, reported shortfalls in 15 BC school districts. What an assault on our public education system!
As parents, citizens and supporters of Protect Public Education Now, we back all the initiatives under the gun—not just programs that matter to us personally—because all contribute to the healthy development of our children, communities and province. We want education to be funded at the level it deserves, so that your government can keep its election promises, including pledges to reduce class sizes and improve classroom composition province-wide.
If your government is to continue to claim that “families come first,” and “a strong economy starts with a strong workforce and that means investing in education,” then it must invest significantly, now, in these and other overdue improvements. In recent years, education budgets have been under assault, not just from direct funding cuts, but also the downloading of operating costs to school boards, as well as a significant portion of the cost of seismic upgrading.
A fully, sustainably funded public education system is the right of every child. Across Vancouver and throughout BC, citizens are therefore echoing the call from the District Parent Advisory Council: “Invest in our Children NOW. They are the Future.” Please listen and act now to supplement the 2014-15 Education Budget, before school boards are forced to further compromise our children’s education.
Yes, as taxpayers and citizens we are willing to pay a bit more to cover such a wise investment. We want public education to be a top priority of our government. Only this will avoid more educational deficits and debt burdening our economy and children for generations.
Protect Public Education Now (PPEN)
Marlene Rodgers Gillian Jerome Franco Pante
James Boothroyd Brad Cran Jody Woods
cc. Peter Fassbender, Education Minister
Rob Fleming, Education Critic
Adrian Dix, MLA Vancouver-Kingsway
Patti Bacchus, Chairperson, Vancouver School Board