B.C. classrooms are getting bigger, with more special needs students per class than ever before.
The BC Teachers Federation is making that claim with new numbers on class composition.
BCTF president Jim Iker says this year, the province broke the record for the number of classrooms with four or more students with special needs.
He adds there are also more classrooms with seven or more special needs students, all while funding is going down.
“When the government doesn’t even fund the cost of inflation or any downloaded costs like MSP increases, which went up by 4 per cent in January, ICBC rates, BC Hydro rate increases, as well as asking school districts to continually lower their budgets, the impact is in the classroom.”
Iker says funding per student in B.C. is about $1,000 lower than what’s handed out in other provinces.
Education Minister Mike Bernier says he’s disappointed with the BCTF’s interpretation of the report.
He says the school districts themselves decide how many kids are in each classroom, under legislated class-size caps.
He adds the province has invested a record $5 billion in education for this school year.