The BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils says parents are being burdened with an unreasonable amount of fundraising, and its time to call for a stop to it.
Dr. Farah Shroff spoke with Simi Sara about what’s been happening in the school system. She’s the First Vice-President of the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils and has a front seat view of how things have changed when it comes to asking for parents to contribute.
“This is a long term trend over the past decade or so, that we’ve seen parents being asked to pick up more and more costs that we believe should typically be picked up by the school system.”
Are taxes not enough?
Shroff says our taxes should be paying for a fully-funded, robust public education system, and that we shouldn’t be asked to pay for more than the enriched aspects of our children’s education.
She says now parents are being asked to pay for computers, books, and even music classes, which have suffered funding cuts, leaving many lower-income kids with no opportunity to ever learn to play music because the school doesn’t offer it.
“We’ve seen that the school system was allowing us to have an equal playing field for all kids regardless of income, and now kids who don’t come from families who can afford to buy certain things are simply not getting them.”
What are enriched aspects of education?
Shroff says while field trips and special activities that are an extra cost to organize are a reasonable ask, even then parents shouldn’t pay for anything if they can’t afford it, and points out that PACs generally raise money to subsidize families who can’t afford field trips and other extracurricular activities.
However, the ask has just been getting bigger and bigger since the late 1990s when BCCPAC first raised the alarm.