VICTORIA, B.C. – Sonia Furstenau, B.C. Greens spokesperson for education, issued the following statement in response to the release of the education funding review report. The review of the K-12 education funding model was a policy commitment included in the Confidence and Supply Agreement and carried out by an independent expert panel with extensive stakeholder engagement.
“This report makes clear that education funding practices in our province have fallen short of providing students and teachers with equitable opportunities to thrive,” said Furstenau.
“Equity means that we must meet the needs of our most vulnerable students. As a teacher, I know how lack of resources can impact kids’ opportunities to succeed, both in school and once in the workforce. In particular, we need to do a better job of supporting students with special needs. B.C.’s public education funding should provide each student with the support they need to be successful.
“This report makes 22 recommendations to better facilitate equitable and accessible education for all B.C. students regardless of their diverse abilities or geographic locations. I look forward to working with government and stakeholders to assess these recommendations and establish a path towards improving the funding model for the benefit of B.C. students.
“While policy changes have great potential to make a difference for students, ultimately we need to look at increasing overall education funding. K-12 funding as a percentage of provincial GDP fell 25% between 1999-2016 and according to the most recent federal data (2014), B.C. had the lowest public education spending on a per capita basis. Increases under the current government, while welcome, largely covered the requirements of the November 2016 Supreme Court ruling. Children in kindergarten today will graduate high school in 2032. They will enter the workforce in a world that looks much different than it does now. We must ensure that our education system adequately prepares them for the new opportunities and challenges they will face.”
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