UPDATE JUNE 4, 2016: On May 31, 2016, the provincial government announced it would not be clawing back the $25 million that was this year’s portion of the $54 million in administrative cuts for 2015 and 2016. Boards are going to have to recalculate their budgets based on their portion of the $25 million, and we are going to discontinue our running list of budget shortfalls.
The reversal of the $25 million cuts is a step in the right direction, but it is a small one. As you can see below, by May 19 FACE had found info on 31 districts with shortfalls totalling $85 million for this year alone. That total was bound to grow as the other 29 districts completed their budget processes. Furthermore, the 2015 admin cuts were $29 million and they have not been returned; districts are still required to cover the Next Generation Network costs; other downloaded costs continue to accrue; and this year’s increase in education funding will not even cover the cost of inflation. All of this means that public education remains in the RED.
It is heartening to see in articles like this and this that the public is alive to these facts and has not been persuaded that $25 million is sufficient to cover the massive cuts public education has faced. As noted in the Vancouver Sun article, there have recently been four funding announcements for public education, but no new money has been added to the budget.
The government needs to do more. It needs to commit to implementing the recommendations of its own Finance Committee: adequate, stable funding that meets the actual costs of providing quality public education, and a review of the per-pupil funding model that has clearly failed.
FACE will continue its push to re-prioritize public education and do right by our kids and our society. #bcedinred is going to be an election issue and we hope that the parties will commit to investing in our kids, our future.
Chronic provincial underfunding of public education means that many (if not most) of the 60 school districts in BC are facing shortfalls as they prepare their budgets for 2016/17. By law, the districts must balance their budgets, so this means cuts are planned throughout the province: programs, services, and entire schools are on the chopping block.
Here is a list of school districts and the shortfalls they face for the coming year. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with shortfall information about your district.
Running total (as of May 19, 2016): 31 districts, combined $85.28 million shortfall.
SD 8, Kootenay Lake, $300,000 shortfall.*
SD 20, Kootenay-Columbia: $750,000 shortfall.
SD 23, Central Okanagan: $3.2 million shortfall.
SD 27, Cariboo-Chilcotin: $600,000 shortfall.
SD 28, Quesnel: $1.4 million shortfall (combined 2015/16 & 2016/17).
SD 33, Chilliwack: $1.45 million shortfall.*
SD 34, Abbotsford: $4 million shortfall.*
SD 36, Surrey: $4 million shortfall.
SD 37, Delta: $3.38 million shortfall.*
SD 38, Richmond: $4.2 million shortfall.*
SD 39, Vancouver: $24 million shortfall.
SD 40, New Westminster: $250,000 shortfall.
SD 41, Burnaby: $4.5 million shortfall.*
SD 42, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows: $340,000 shortfall.*
New SD 48, Sea to Sky: $633,000 shortfall*
SD 51, Boundary: $534,000 shortfall.*
SD 52, Prince Rupert: $1.9 million shortfall.*
SD 53, Okanagan Similkameen: $1.1 million shortfall. *
SD 54, Bulkley Valley: $680,000 shortfall.*
SD 57, Prince George: $3.3 million shortfall.
SD 58, Nicola Similkameen: $1.35 million shortfall.*
SD 61, Victoria: $6.9 million shortfall.*
SD 62, Sooke: $1.6 million shortfall.*
SD 63, Saanich: $1.2 million shortfall.*
SD 67, Okanagan Skaha: $1.025 million shortfall this year, with further reductions of at least $750,000 every year after that.
SD 68, Nanaimo-Ladysmith: $850,000 shortfall.*
SD 71, Comox Valley: $2.876 million shortfall.*
SD 72, Campbell River: $900,000 shortfall.
SD 73, Kamloops-Thompson: $2.45 million shortfall.*
SD 79, Cowichan Valley: $3.7 million shortfall.
SD 83, North Okanagan-Shuswap: $1.9 million shortfall.*
What you can do:
- Use our quick and easy email tool to write to your MLA and the Minister of Education about these shortfalls.
- Tweet about these shortfalls and the shortfall in your district using the hashtag #bcedinred.
- Wear RED on the day the budget is passed: THURSDAY MAY 19 (see press release here).
- Make public education funding an issue in the 2017 provincial election. Ask all the candidates in your riding what they will do to address the underfunding of public education. Push all the parties to make education a priority again. Here are some questions you can ask.
*List updated April 12, 2016, to include SD 61 info; April 14, 2016, to include SD 68 info; April 15, 2016, to include SD 37 info; April 16 to include SD 63 info; April 17 to include SD 34 and SD 54 info; April 19 to include SD 73 and SD 42; April 20 to include SD 51 & 52; April 21 to update SD 83 amount; April 24 to include SD 8; April 26 to include SD 62 and update SD 41 amount; April 27 to update SD 52 amount; May 5, 2016, to include SD 38 info; May 8, 2016, to include SD 58 info; May 13 to include SD 33; May 19 to include SD 48 and update SD 71 amount.