“Why has the government de-prioritized public education?”

***Update April 26, 2016: PAN has now posted a document that contains some answers to its questions as well as some corrections to figures used in the questions. Find it here.***

Members of the Parent Advocacy Network for Public Education have put together a list of questions about the BC education budget for 2016. The document includes information and figures in context that will be very helpful to parents/citizens who have been hearing the government spin on education funding.

You can find the questions here:  pan_questions_on_bc_budget_2016_moe_final

And here is the cover letter/media release that sets out the over-arching policy question:

“Why has the government de-prioritized public education?” Parent Advocacy Network for Public Education Questions BC Budget 2016

VANCOUVER — Following the February 16 announcement of BC Budget 2016, and in anticipation of the Ministry of Education budget estimates being discussed in the Legislature, members of the Parent Advocacy Network for Public Education (PAN) have been examining the funding figures and have posed a number of questions about the K-12 education budget.

Taking into account inflation, Ministry of Education funding has fallen by 11% since 2002. Furthermore, the percentage of nominal GDP that BC spends on education as a function has also decreased since 2002. Economic growth has not been reflected in education funding. Our over-arching question is “Why has the government de-prioritized public education?”

Supporting this over-arching question are several detail-oriented questions that result from a close examination of the education funding figures. As citizens, parents, and taxpayers in British Columbia, PAN members are looking for answers to these questions in order to understand how funding is allocated to the school districts, independent (private) schools, and other partners.

PAN has submitted these questions to the BC Liberal government, the NDP opposition, the Green Party, and the Independent MLAs in the Legislature, as well as to the media. PAN hopes to gain a better understanding of the budget details in the answers to these questions. PAN also hopes that by asking these questions, and prompting others to ask them too, some light will be shed on the stark reality that education funding in BC is inadequate. It is time to take action to put education back in the priority position it deserves.