Trustees slam cuts
In the provincial budget, government imposed
$54 million in cuts over the next two years. Then, adding insult to injury,
Premier Christy Clark said that districts merely had to cut “low-hanging
fruit.” Now, without consulting teachers or trustees, the government has
introduced Bill 11, which will have significant impacts on school boards and
classrooms. Trustees now are speaking out in an unprecedented way.
On May 22, 2015 the BC
School Trustees Association released their response to the budget and the
corresponding cuts many districts are forced to make.
BCSTA President’s letter to Education Minister, April 20, 2015
SD 8 Kootenay Lake
Letter to Education Minister, Peter Fassbender, April 23, 2015
SD 10 Arrow Lakes
Letter to Education Minister, Peter Fassbender, May 12, 2015
SD 19 Revelstoke
He's [Fassbender] got this from every single school
board in the province. It's something provincially we're all united
It is clear that protecting programs and services to
students, in the face of increased costs and a lack of funding to meet those
pressures, will be even more challenging than in previous years. …
The low-hanging fruit has been gone for years. We're
trying to get the message across that cuts do affect students. …
There is an immediate need for an increase in funding
to address the widening gap between revenues and expenses. We call on
government to demonstrate a commitment to public education by allocating
funding that reflects increased expenses related to conditions outside of our
Alan Chell, past Chair of BCPSEA,
Times Review , March 31, 2015
SD 20 Kootenay-Columbia
It is very distressing for us to be cutting year after
year. Our concept has always been to cut away from the classroom as far as we
Times , March 12, 2015
Unfortunately it is in the fine print in the budget
that has left school trustees and administrators feeling like they have been
played for chumps. It was a ministry order for the province’s 60 districts to
find $29 million in “administrative efficiencies”—also known as budget cuts –
this year and an additional $25 million in “efficiencies” next year. Keep in
mind the cuts are cumulative and ongoing. So that’s $29 million this year and a
total of $54 million next year.
Trail Daily Times , March 20, 2015
SD 23 Central Okanagan
It’s just a big worry. We’ve made so many cuts. We’re
so lean and found quite a lot of savings already.
Courier , March 14, 2015
recent years, we have faced service reductions that have affected the classroom
both directly and indirectly. The requirement for further cuts will only
compromise the District’s ability to deliver programs and services to our
Kelowna Now , March 16, 2015
SD 33 Chilliwack
So much for the comments of low hanging fruit that
happened way back in the 2000s. Cuts just keep coming and coming—it really
seems an assault on public education.
Times , March 4, 2015
SD 35 Langley
We’ve already got kids traipsing to school with paper
and Kleenex. Maybe we can ask them to come with toilet paper.
Advance , March 11, 2015
SD 36 Surrey
Longtime Surrey school Trustee Laurae McNally called
the government directive “completely unfair,” saying the province is
“penalizing” Surrey with the funding reduction as the district already has the
lowest administrative costs of any of the 60 school districts in the province.
“And it has been that way for years. You can’t get any lower than number one.”
Surrey Leader , February 28, 2015
SD 37 Delta
We are at a bit of a loss where we would go to find
these efficiencies. … It’s not that we don’t understand fiscal responsibility.
We live it every day.
Surrey Leader , February 28, 2015
assumptions being made by the ministry that there are further savings to go
after when there are not.
The Province , February 23, 2015
SD 38 Richmond
Open letter to Finance Minister Michael De Jong and Education Minister Peter Fassbender
Eric Yung, Richmond News, April 9, 2015
We already have an arrangement with other school
boards to purchase bulk supplies together to keep the cost down. And we’ve
looked into combining payroll and human resource departments, but the savings
were not that significant.
Richmond News , Feb 24, 2015
SD 39 Vancouver
As our superintendent has said, it will be tough to
balance our budget this year as it was last year, and certainly another $2.9
million of unexpected cuts is not helpful.
Courier , February 18, 2015
SD 42 Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows
I don’t honestly understand it. It feels like
government is really disconnected from the front lines, in terms of what it
takes to deliver education.
News , February 19, 2015
SD 47 Powell River
“And there does
not seem to be any significant changes in the foreseeable future,” said Scott, who wonders how the province’s public education system is to remain “a
leading jurisdiction on the international stage” with this funding trend.
Peak , February 25, 2015)
SD57 Prince George
We are proponents of public education and when I see
the savings we have to make going into the private schools, that concerns me.
250 News , March 4, 2015
It's almost like double speak because on one hand
they're saying that we have to make these cuts out of administrative savings
and we can't affect the classroom by them but on the other hand, they're taking
part of per-student funding and applying it to capital (costs). …
It's a fine line between really expressing our
frustration and concern about this and having someone else step in and the
board being replaced.
Citizen , March 24, 2015
SD 58 Nicola-Similkameen
Letter to Education Minister, Peter Fassbender, May 19, 2015
SD 62 Sooke
Letter to Clark, Fassbender & De Jong - Budget Concerns, May 19, 2015
SD 63 Saanich
Saanich board chairwoman Victoria Martin said trustees
across the Island were incensed by Clark’s comments to reporters at the B.C.
legislature last month. “I think there was a serious concern about the
premier’s lack of sensitivity and apparent lack of awareness of what school
districts have been through in the last decade.”
Times Colonist, March 25, 2015
Letter to Peter Fassbender, June 17, 2015
SD 67 Okanagan Skaha
Superintendent Wendy Hyer described it as the province
giving on one hand, but taking away on the other. “We have made cuts every year
I was here,” said Hyer. “Over the last years we have eliminated administrative
positions, we've reduced clerical hours, we've reduced custodial hours.To suggest
that we haven't cut the low-hanging fruit is an insult.”
Penticton Western News, March 14, 2015
SD 68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith
I’m all for consolidating services if it makes sense,
but to me all they’re is doing is trying to take everybody’s eyes off the ball.
The fact is the provincial government continues to underfund education.
Nanaimo News Bulletin , March 31, 2015
SD 69 Qualicum
To believe that the past and future reductions in
expenditures do not impact classrooms is unrealistic.
Times Colonist , March 25, 2015
The professional growth of our teachers, guided by our
district’s educational leaders, will be disrupted and will have a direct impact
on our student achievement.
Parksville Qualicum Beach News , March 26, 2015
SD 79 Cowichan Valley
It's a very difficult time for trustees. And it's been
years where they've faced these challenging budget decreases. It's compounded
the frustration because they're looking for increased funding and it's reversed
by the government taking back funds.… That's where
the upset is coming from: the lack of recognition that we really need the
Citizen , February 20, 2015
SD 83 North Okanagan Shuswap
We've already cut in so many areas which we hoped
didn't affect the classroom too, too much, like custodial and administration.
Last year, we had to cut things that do impact the classroom, like family life
and library time, and this year the cuts are going to go even deeper. It's
tough to do this.… We can no longer maintain the status
quo," adds Johnson. "We
have cut everywhere we can, and now we have to cut some more. We have to look
BC News March 12, 2015
SD 81 Fort Nelson
Letter to Peter Fassbender, April 20, 2015
SD 85 Vancouver Island North
Letter to Peter Fassbender, April 14, 2015
BC School Trustees
“It’s unacceptable,” said Teresa Rezansoff, president of the B.C. School Trustees Association.
The Province , February 23, 2015