FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Teachers Federation President Jim Iker says he is pleased with the governments announcement today placing $25-million back into schools.
With the announcement today, Iker believes the government is finally giving into the pressure the federation and the public has placed upon them.
“Public advocacy clearly works,” said Iker. “The return of this $25 million cut is an important turning point for public education as it shows the government is feeling the pressure one year out from a provincial election. While the returned funding will not solve the funding crisis facing our schools, it will bring some much needed relief. Parents, students, teachers, and trustees need to keep the pressure up.”
Iker says this situation should never have happened in the first place and that it all could have been avoided.
“I think folks in the school system will feel some relief today,” said Iker. “While we are appreciative that the government is making this move, it should never have happened in the first place. It’s incumbent upon teachers, parent groups, and school trustees to keep reaching out to government MLAs to ensure they understand the depth of the crisis, and commit to taking more action.”
Iker also has a few suggestions for the government on how they can save even more money and give more back to the education system in BC, even though some steps were taken today.
“In 2015, the government gave BC’s wealthiest few a tax cut worth over $200 million. In 2016, private school funding hit an all-time high of $358 million, including subsidies for elite prep schools. BC’s richest residents don’t need tax breaks and private school giveaways at the expense of public education. It’s time for the government to reinvest in public schools.”