The numbers tell the story
This easy-to-read pamphlet clearly illustrates the decline in government support for public education over the past decade. Facts and trends gathered from Statistics Canada and other reliable sources highlight the loss of teachers and specialists, the worsening student-educator ratio and the increased numbers of students with special needs.
BC ranks last in funding public education when compared to all 10 provinces. In fact, BC ranks last on all measures. BC students are getting short-changed. The stark reality is that education funding increases have not been large enough to preserve the same levels of service our students had a decade ago.
According to Statistics Canada, who regularly report comparisons between the provinces on a number of education measures, BC ranks last on seven key measures, including the following:
BC students and parents deserve a plan of action to start moving BC back up to the national average in terms of education funding. Children who began Kindergarten in 2002 now have gone through their entire school careers in larger classes, with less support for special needs, and with fewer counselors, librarians, and other specialist teachers to help them along the way.
A 25% cut to corporate income taxes in 2001 severely reduced provincial revenue. Now is the time to restore the taxation necessary to support not only public education but universally accessible, quality public services that are essential for an equitable and healthy society.
BC teachers call for improvements in education funding, not by reducing other public services, but by increasing taxes to generate the necessary revenue needed to adequately meet the needs in the range of public services. That plan to restore taxation would increase the funding support for education to at least bring BC up to the Canadian average.
Our students deserve better. There is no valid excuse for British Columbia to continue another decade of reducing educational services. We want to be able to say to the public, and our students, that things are improving, that they can expect to get back at least some of the reduced or eliminated services.