Letter: New education funding not nearly enough

To: Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services

Ed. note: Holmes encourages all parents and citizens who are concerned about education funding to make a submission to this committee; the deadline for submissions is this Friday:

www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/finance/budget-consultations.asp

To: Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services

I am making this submission as I am very concerned about the funding of our public education system in the province, and even more so about the situation here in Surrey.

We are very fortunate in our province to have fantastic teachers, administrators, and support staff that do the best they can with what they have, supportive parents who volunteer a lot of their time to help out, and hard-working students that we all want to see thrive.

Unfortunately, it seems that education is becoming less of a financial priority in this province every year. I have seen a variety of statistics that support this, with one of the more dramatic examples being the percentage of the provincial budget that is spent on education – from approximately 19 per cent in 2002 to approximately 13 per cent this year, and projections are for this to continue decreasing over the next couple of years. As a result, districts are forced to make cuts in spite of increased funding, as the increases never match the increases in expenses – increases that are not in the districts’ control.

In Surrey specifically, we are faced with the additional challenge of our growth. While growth should be good news in that it means more funding, unfortunately when we have over 270 portables, and 7,000 students learning in those portables every day, it means more cuts in the classrooms. Our district estimates that the extra costs associated with these portables (heat, light, maintenance, moving expenses, etc.) are approximately $4 million per year in our district. Since there is no funding provided for this, it means $4 million in cuts to staffing and resources in our classrooms.

I was part of an Ad-Hoc Committee that made a submission to your committee in 2011 about our capital funding issues. We have received some funding for new schools and additions since then, but not nearly enough. Since we are looking at four to five years from a funding announcement to kids being in a school, the recent news that the province has asked districts not to submit capital funding plans this year is nothing short of appalling.

I don’t believe it’s fair to our teachers, support staff, and administrators, to ask them to keep doing the same great work every year with less and less funding. It’s not fair to our parents to put them in a position where they feel like they need to constantly raise funds to ensure their children’s classrooms have everything they need. But most importantly, it’s not fair to our children, and all the children of this province, to give them less and less support every year.

 

Bob Holmes
Concerned Surrey parent

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cloverdale businessman funds wells in Cambodia

Revive Washing in Clayton Heights donates three per cent of profits to charity

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

Human Rights Tribunal denies church’s request to toss out White Rock Pride Society’s complaint

Star of the Sea and White Rock Pride Society to go to Human Rights Tribunal hearing

UPDATE: Missing 12-year-old boy found, Surrey RCMP say

Landon Vangeel-Morgan was last seen 9:14 p.m., May 30 near 96 Avenue and 150 Street

COVID-19: Daily update on pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

Provincial Health Officer officially bans overnight kids’ camps this summer

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Help the ‘Cloverdale Reporter’ continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read