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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 16, Number 5, April 2004

B.C. Liberal education legacy

Since the B.C. Liberals came to power in 2001, they:

• introduced $3 billion in tax cuts that went mostly to the top income earners and corporations. The top 8,000 income earners receive more than $200 million a year thanks to those tax cuts.

• declared education an essential service, contrary to standards adopted by the United Nations.

• removed class-size limits for Grades 4–12.

• increased class sizes for K–3.

• eliminated protections for students with special needs.

• stripped staffing ratios for specialist teachers.

• took over the BC College of Teachers but provided self-regulation for car dealers.

• reduced real per-pupil funding for 2004–05: $143 less than in 2001.

Student enrolment –2%

Teachers – 8%

this includes:

Counsellors – 10%

ESL teachers – 20%

Special education – 18%

Teacher-librarians – 23%

Due to their underfunding, 92 neighbourhood schools have been closed, displacing 14,000 students. Another 27 neighbourhood schools are threatened with closure for next year. That will displace another 5,000 students.

– Peter Owens

The next provincial election is May 17, 2005. For more information, visit www.bctf.ca.

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