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The BC Teachers’ Federation launched a new province-wide advertising campaign today to raise awareness about issues facing BC’s education system. BCTF President Irene Lanzinger said the When Will They Learn? campaign focuses on school closures, overcrowded classes, and the neglect of students with special needs.

“With school board elections set for November 15, British Columbians need to send a message to the provincial government,” said Lanzinger. “Students, parents, and teachers are tired of underfunding, cutbacks, and closures. If the provincial government won’t learn, how will BC’s kids?”

In 2006, the BC Liberal government promised to reduce class size and improve conditions for students with special needs. Teachers are still waiting to see the funding needed to make that happen. Last year, there were 10,000 overcrowded classes and no new funding to help students with special needs. The cutbacks and underfunding also resulted in the closure of 177 schools.

“BC needs school trustees who will speak out against government cutbacks and broken promises,” said Lanzinger. “This ad campaign asks British Columbians to look at the state of education in the province and elect school board candidates who will demand better for our kids.”

The When Will They Learn? campaign began this week with ads on Translink and BC Transit buses across the province. Television ads will begin during the news hour on October 20, followed by a significant presence in grocery stores during the month of November. The campaign is also online at www.WhenWillTheyLearn.ca.

The television ad features the images of actual public schools closed across the province as well as several BC public school students. The text reads: “177 schools closed. 10,000 overcrowded classes. Special needs still neglected. When the provincial government won’t learn, how will BC’s kids? On November 15, elect school board candidates who will speak out and demand better for our kids.”

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

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