MLA for Peace River-North and Opposition Critic for Education, Dan Davies, is affirming the commitment of the BC Liberals to restore the 20 per cent in funding cuts slashed from the budgets of Independent Distributed Learning (IDL) schools and programs by the Minister of Education who, on Wednesday, made it clear to B.C. parents that he has no intention of reversing the cuts.
“These sudden and devastating cuts from the NDP will mean that close to $800 per student in funding will be wiped out,” said Davies. “The hundreds of letters and phone calls we have received from families show the severity of the cuts and underline just how devastating their impact will be. For many families, these cuts will mean the difference between their kids having access to a learning program that works for them and being forced back into ones that don’t.”
During Wednesday’s Question Period in the B.C. Legislature, Davies confronted Education Minister Rob Fleming and asked why the NDP misled families and backtracked on their 2017 election promise to not cut funding to IDL schools. The Education Minister refused to acknowledge Premier John Horgan’s broken promise to families, despite Davies producing the letter written by Horgan in 2017.
“We’re currently in the middle of a pandemic when online and alternative learning resources have never been more valuable to our kids,” said Davies. “Students deserve access to an education system that suits their learning needs. That is why the BC Liberals are committed to doing everything in our power to have this funding restored so that we can ensure that every child in B.C. has access to the model of education they choose, regardless of circumstances.”
IDL schools often cater to students who struggle in traditional schooling and serve students with diverse learning needs, or who live in remote areas and don’t have access to public schools.