||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%
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.