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BCTF News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEApril 27, 2016

Poll shows Vancouverites blame provincial government for looming cuts and school closures

VANCOUVER-A new poll conducted by Insights West and commissioned by the local unions that represent Vancouver school workers has found that a significant majority of Vancouverites are opposed to school closures and cuts to educational programs. A large majority also place the blame squarely on the provincial BC Liberal government for underfunding public education and downloading costs onto the Vancouver School Board.

The poll was conducted between April 21 to April 24, 2016 among 536 adult residents of the City of Vancouver. The margin of error is +/- 4.2 percentage points nineteen times out of twenty. Further details are available in the factum.

Key results include:

  • Nearly two thirds (64%) think the provincial government is responsible for the Vancouver School Board's shortfall and the consequences.
  • A clear majority (56%) think the Vancouver School Board should pass a deficit budget to avoid cuts and pressure the government to increase funding. Support rises to 61% among respondents who have a child or a grandchild enrolled in a public school.
  • 57% are opposed to forcing school boards to pay for non-education related costs like MSP or BC Hydro increases that are downloaded by the provincial government. That percentage rises to 60% among respondents who have a child or a grandchild enrolled in a public school.
  • A resounding 73% of Vancouverites are opposed to asking parents to pay more fees or fundraise to make up the funding gaps for core educational services. That rises to 81% among respondents who have a child or a grandchild enrolled in a public school.
  • 58% disagree with closing schools to balance the budget. Disagreement is strongest in the east side (66%) and among Residents aged 35-54 (62%).
  • The most popular solutions to the public school funding crisis are cutting back private school funding (36%) and increasing funding from the provincial budget surplus (29%). A massive 96% of respondents list replacing the locally elected board with a special advisor as their least favoured solution.

Quotes:

Rory Brown, Vancouver Secondary Teachers' Association President

It is clear that Vancouverites see past the shell game politics that the BC Liberal government is playing with the quality of our children's' education in Vancouver.

Contact Rory Brown at 604-873-5570 or rory@vsta.ca

Brent Boyd, CUPE 407 PresidentT

he stakeholder groups of the VSB felt it was important to conduct a poll to shed light on what Vancouverites really think about provincial government's arrogance in blaming the Vancouver School Board for the school funding crisis. This poll highlights that the BC Liberal government is actually ignorant to what the vast majority of Vancouver parents want and what children in the public school system need.

Contact Brent Boyd at 604-319-8406 orbboyd01@telus.net

Tim Chester, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 963 President

This poll validates the concerns raised by countless stakeholders- the public wants more investment in education.

Contact Tim Chester, IUOE Local 963 president at 604-803-8504 or Bill Tieleman, Westar Communications at 778-896-0964

Dan Graves, Vancouver Elementary School Teachers' Association President

The real cost of educating students in Vancouver far exceeds the government funding provided.  Our community absolutely understands that the way forward is not the further reduction of service to students but rather government making a real investment and committing public resources for our public education system.

Contact Dan Graves at 604 873-8378 dan@vesta.ca   

Warren Williams, CUPE Local 15 President

Parents and school workers are obviously very distressed with the state of public education funding in our great province. The BC Liberal government is letting this generation of students down by underfunding our schools and downloading costs. It's unconscionable that any government would have such a high disregard for BC students.

Contact Warren Williams at 604-879-4671 orwwilliams@cupe15.org

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For more information, contact Rich Overgaard, BCTF media relations officer, at 604-871-1881 (office) or 604-340-1959 (cell).