Andrew Weaver releases B.C. Green Party Strategy for Lifelong Learning

April 05, 2017

VANCOUVER B.C. - Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, released the party’s Strategy for Lifelong learning today in Vancouver. The strategy includes early childhood education, child care, public education, postsecondary education and adult learning.

“The economy is changing and so too must our education system,” said Weaver. “That’s why the B.C. Greens’ Lifelong Learning Strategy invests in education at all levels so that British Columbians have access to well-paying jobs, not for a short time, but for a lifetime.”
Key components of the strategy include:
1. Investing in early childhood education:
  • Up to 25 hours free early childhood education per week for three and four year olds;

  • Free daycare for working parents with children under three;

  • Up to $500 per month for families with children under three and a stay at home parent.

2. Investing in public education to prepare British Columbians for the emerging economy:
  • Increase funding for public schools, beginning in 2017/18 at $220 million and rising to $1.46 billion in 2020/21, to allow schools and school districts to invest in every child and prepare students for the emerging economy, and to invest in innovation and technology.

  • $10 million per year for free adult basic education.

3. Investing $35 million in nutrition and physical activity programs to promote learning readiness, and improve student health.
4. Funding for professional development for public school teachers:
  • Invest $140 million over three years to train teachers to deliver the new curriculum.

  • Work with indigenous leaders, teachers, universities and colleges to develop policies and strategies to attract highly qualified teachers to the profession, and support recruitment and retention. Special attention will be paid to increasing the number of Indigenous teachers.

5. Reviewing the funding model for the K-12 public education system with a view to ensuring equitable access for students. This will address targeting funding to public schools with the greatest need and increasing local autonomy regarding funding priorities and distribution.
6. Alleviating the burden of student debt:
  • Implement needs-based grants for post-secondary students.

  • Offer tax forgiveness of up to $2,000 a year for up to five years to assist qualifying graduates to repay outstanding debt incurred for tuition fees.

  • Set up a task force on postsecondary education funding with a mandate to identify ways to make post-secondary education more relevant, accessible and affordable. The task force will present its report by July 2018.

7. Investing $65 million over four years to support co-op and work experience programs for high school and undergraduate students.
8. Allocating up to $10 million per year for in-service skills training for workers in small and medium-sized enterprises; and, retraining for those displaced by automation or changing markets.
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