When More is Less: Education Funding in BC

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 found that most boards had difficulty balancing their budgets. Of the 45 districts reviewed, 32 forecast costs that exceeded funding. Of these 32 boards, over half did not have sufficient prior year surpluses to make up the difference and services were cut.This finding reflects an overall structural funding problem for education funding in British Columbia. While provincial block funding has increased since 2001, a $132 million shortfall remains, even after savings from declining enrolment have been factored in.

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The Centre for Civic Governance works to support community leadership meeting today’s social and environmental challenges: climate change, Canada’s increasing equity gap, and shifting social trends. At the Centre for Civic Governance, our goal is to strengthen Canadian communities through sharing best practices, providing tools for locally elected leaders, and progressive policy analysis. We strive to provide knowledge and information to make real and positive social change.