The Trustees of British Columbia’s School District 5 (Southeast Kootenay) recently passed the following motion, and wrote an explanatory letter to the Honourable George Abbott, BC Minister of Education. The motion, and letter, communicate challenges they face within the current structure of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act, and suggests improvements that would help their district READ MORE
In this Tyee article , Past North Vancouver School Board Trustee Crawford Kilian writes about potential implications of the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling that the North Vancouver School Board must reimburse the family of Jeffery Moore, who put their son into private school in order to get adequate support for his learning disability. As the READ MORE
At a meeting on June 25th, the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools’ board cut full-day, every day kindergarten for the 2012-13 school year in order to balance their budgets. This follows the same move made last week in the city’s public schools. Several trustees voiced concerns about the cut and blamed the provincial government for failing to READ MORE
The need to fundraise stemming from inadequate funding is making it necessary for Ontario schools to bulk up on private dollars, sometimes even for the basics. With the top 10 per cent of fundraising schools bringing in the same amount of money as the bottom 75 per cent combined, reliance on fundraising dollars as a core READ MORE
In the spring budget, the province of Ontario identified school board amalgamations as a way to reduce administrative expenses. With the province targeting areas with low population growth and declining enrolment, it is moving fast to cut $10.5 million in education costs by merging school boards in 2013. Read more at Metro News .
Facing a $110 million dollar shortfall this year, some Toronto District School Board trustees say the district can’t balance its books and roll out full-day kindergarten at the same time. Read more at the Toronto Sun .
The Vancouver School Board has released the results of surveys conducted as part of its public consultation process. The board will be discussing the results, including whether or not to redevelop properties in the face of declining enrolments and provincial funding as well as the introduction of a balanced school calendar. Read more at the Vancouver Sun READ MORE
Almost half of all Ontario high schools are still charging students course fees, despite guidelines introduced by the province last fall telling them not to, says an annual report on the state of education. Read more at The Toronto Star .
Last Friday, teachers in Nova Scotia rallied in front of 18 MLA offices to protest provincial cuts to education. The government insists the cuts are a necessary part of declining enrollment, but teachers are claiming cuts to funding mean larger class sizes and poorer quality education. Read more at the CBC.
The Toronto School Board is considering closing171 schools to deal with a significant drop in enrollment. While the student population has dropped by 71,000 students, many worry that closing schools will have serious consequences for students, families and neighbourhoods. Trustee Cathy Dandy called closing schools “the most wasteful, inefficient, myopic thing any government can consider, READ MORE
BC school boards have succeeded in recapturing funds previously levied on them and distributed to the private sector. Carbon offset fees charged to boards by the Pacific Carbon Trust will now be deposited with the Ministry of Education’s Energy Efficient Capital Account for the exclusive use by boards for energy-efficiency projects. This should amount to READ MORE
An updated study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative s shows that university graduates more than pay off the cost of their undergraduate degrees: degrees mean higher incomes, which mean higher taxes paid into the public treasury. These two infographics from the study help explain their calculations. Read the full report here .
Despite the overwhelming evidence that shows that providing free healthy food to students results in an immediate jump in test scores alongside improved behaviour and reduced tardiness ,there is still no stable source of funding for such programs. Schools rely on donations from communities and businesses resulting in inconsistent delivery of programs. An article by Stephen READ MORE
A recent announcement that all city boards including school boards will be facing budget cuts of ten percent came as a surprise to many Toronto school boards. Two of the city’s largest boards had just met with the Mayor’s office to discuss coordination of services and cost saving measures days before the cuts were announced READ MORE
All BC public institutions are legislated to be carbon neutral. To achieve this they have no choice but to purchase carbon offsets. Those offsets must be purchased from the Pacific Carbon Trust , a crown corporation that charges much more than any other offset company. Pacific Carbon Trust purchases offsets from industry and then sells them to public READ MORE
A Toronto-based school food program is proving successful in raising academic scores and improving behavior for the students it serves. “Feeding Our Future,” was started after a Toronto student was shot by a fellow student. Some administrators and nutrition experts argued that “hungry kid was an angry kid.” By providing the basics – a meal READ MORE
School Districts across BC pay carbon tax to the Pacific Carbon Trust which then funnels that money into several private sector energy efficiency projects. Last year the PCT collected $4 million from BC schools. The Kamloops-Thompson School district (No. 73) wants to see its carbon offsets go back into the public sector. Read more at BC READ MORE
School districts in BC are caught in a Catch 22. Provincial carbon neutral measures are forcing districts to pay for carbon offsets that don’t actually reduce the districts’ own emissions AND drain funds from education operating budgets. The bigger the emissions gap, the more offsets districts have to buy; the more they have to buy, READ MORE
The introduction of all day kindergarten is causing some tension for parents and teachers alike. Although many parents and teachers agree the program will help youngsters with reading and arithmetic they feel the introduction of the program is rushed and poorly funded. The program is meant to address gaps in early childhood education and care, READ MORE
Last Friday the Ministry of Education informed school boards that they are now responsible for paying property insurance premiums. This carves a significant amount of money out of already stretched school board budgets. Vancouver’s school board will have to pay the highest premiums at $291,285.27, amounting to significant cuts to school programs and staff. Read READ MORE
Increases in the number of special needs students and decreases in the number of special education teachers leave unions and parent groups worried that these students aren’t getting the qualified instruction they need. They point the finger at the BC government’s passing of Bill 28 in 2002, which removed funding for special needs services, and READ MORE
Recent measures to override local school board decisions, such as those contained in this spring’s legislation, do not reflect British Columbians’ view about who is doing the best job in public education.
Many schools across the province are facing major budget shortfalls, and according to a recent report, it is libraries that bear the brunt of cost-cutting measures. In the 2009-2010 year, parents and schools were able to raise 1.2 million dollars to keep school libraries afloat. However, dollars raised varied widely according to neighbourhood income, underscoring READ MORE
Surrey business leaders, education leaders and Mayor Diane Watts have joined together to appeal for more education funding. Surrey has the largest public-school district in the province and the local board of trade has argued that education is a cornerstone of a stable economy.The Surrey board of trade recently released a paper titled Education Today, Productivity Tomorrow . Read READ MORE
Faced with declining enrollment, many schools are taking on a dual role, acting as a school by day and a community hub by night. Schools throughout the Metro Vancouver region are now offering ESL classes, art and sports programs plus community services. Read the full story in The Tyee .
The BC Liberals maintain that education gets more money every year, and that teachers are misrepresenting the situation by asking for more funding. However, a close analysis shows that current funding fails to meet the true cost of sustaining public schools, resulting in a structural funding shortfall. Read the full story in The Tyee .
A recent Angus Reid poll shows that nearly 80% of British Columbians support increased funding for public schools. The online poll was conducted while school trustees across the province were forced to cut programs, staff and services to balance their annual budgets. Read the full story in the Vancouver Sun .
The Vancouver School Board says it’s getting ready to lay off dozens of staff, close at least one school, and shorten the school year by 10 days, citing an $18.1-million deficit it blames on the provincial government. Provincial funding for schools has failed to keep pace with rising labor costs and mandated energy -efficiency retrofits READ MORE
Since 2002, 176 schools have been closed in BC, and over 50 more closures are threatened over the next few years. However, demographic models suggest that closures are only a quick-fix solution. School-age populations have dropped significantly in the last several years but are expected to increase rapidly in the coming decades, meaning schools must READ MORE
Why are school districts cutting staff and laying off teachers? A new research report, finds growing evidence that the funding formula does not cover the costs of public education, can be read here .
“The most significant budget challenge the Greater Victoria school district has faced came when it had to trim $8.8 million from its budget in 2002-03, a situation that coincided with a decision to close five elementary schools in the next few years” , says Victoria Times Colonist reporter Jeff Bell in an article dated March 11, 2009. Centre READ MORE
Why are school districts cutting staff and laying off teachers?A Centre for Civic Governance research report finds growing evidence that the funding formula does not cover the costs of public education. The Centre for Civic Governance at Columbia Institute reviewed the 2008-2009 preliminary annual budgets developed by boards of education across the province. The study READ MORE
As more municipalities consider banning bottled water from municipal facilities, Canadian university and college campuses are moving in the opposite direction. A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) titled “Corporate Initiatives on Campus: A Snapshot” reveals that since the implementation of beverage exclusivity contracts with Coke and Pepsi, drinking fountains are on the decline.
As children head back to school today, many BC parents are scrambling to make arrangements for their after school care. A lack of funding, space and providers has left many parents with little choice but to be available at 3pm to pick their children up from school. Read more here.
The Langley Special Education Inquiry Report , released in January 2008, was a joint project of the District Parent Advisory Council, CUPE Local 1260, and the Langley Teachers’ Association. Key findings of the report include that there has been an historical underfunding of special education in BC that has led to overcrowded classrooms and unmanageable caseloads for teachers. The Inquiry READ MORE
On October 18th, the Ministry of Education announced changes to the education funding formula. These changes are to come into effect immediately, despite the fact that school boards have already established their budgets for the current school year. The changes being made to the funding formula apply to students in grades 10, 11 and 12. READ MORE
In October of 2006, the Saanich School Board formed a Commission of Public Education, which included three trustees, the Superintendent of Schools and a respected community member. The Commission was tasked with receiving feedback on the Board’s declared values, programs, priorities and services; addressing the ongoing funding shortfalls facing the Board and receiving ideas on READ MORE