SONIA Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Green Party said on Wednesday that the next government needs to do more to support public schools to cope with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as improve long-term funding. The B.C. Greens are promising a start of an immediate $200 million increase to the education budget per year for the next three years, as well as to improving long-term funding.
“The B.C. Greens plan addresses the shortfalls in the NDPs back to school plan, while also ensuring more resources are brought to the table for the long term,” said Furstenau.
“Parents are having to weigh their personal fears of sending their kid to school with the quality of education they might receive online. Teachers have been forced to re-enter classrooms with fears about their personal safety. Districts and schools have been designing programs with uncertainty about what funding they can count on. There is nothing more valuable or beneficial for our province than our public education system. We have to do better than this.
“The money the school districts need to keep our teachers and children safe must be available without question. Kids shouldn’t lose their seat at the school in their community school simply because their parents felt more comfortable with remote learning. We need to expand the resources available to school districts in order to ensure that each of them can develop credible and robust remote learning and hybrid learning options.
“Outside of what was required by the Supreme Court win, the B.C. NDP have failed to help schools catch up what was lost during the Liberals’ austerity years. This means many schools and classrooms are heavily reliant on PAC fundraising, or personal investments by teachers to maintain the quality education our kids deserve. We have to make sure every school district has access to the resources they need to deliver quality education, and that every student has access to the full range of educational resources and supports.
“Education has and always will be my top priority. It’s time we changed the conversation about this in B.C. The B.C. Greens will stand up for public education, whatever the shape the next government takes.”
The full B.C. Greens plan for public education is available here.