The Vancouver School Board is wrapping up its last night of public consultations before trustees vote on approving an operating budget that includes $24-million in cuts to programs and teaching positions.
More than 100 people, all dressed in red, stood in solidarity with the Parent Advocacy Network during its speech to the school board at Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School.
“Tonight we are wearing red to mark the fact that while BC budget may be in the black, public education is in the red.”
The proposed budget includes larger secondary school classes, and cuts to support workers, vice-principals and mentor positions, as well as cuts to gifted programs, literacy support and teacher librarians.
Elementary strings students also spoke about how music has enriched their lives.
“Our school needs music, and we need music, please don’t cut the strings program.”
LGBTQ community adds voice
UBC student and recent high school grad Andy Holmes begged trustees not to cut the anti-homophobia and diversity mentor.
“By cutting this position you are making a statement that queer and trans students lives do not matter.”
READ MORE: Public weighs in on VSB budget cuts
Program Co-ordinator for Out in Schools, Brandon Yan, repeated the call.
“If you reject this budget you get replaced by an administrator and the cuts get made anyways and where are we now. So I suggest you all get together and think of the students of the schools, and if it’s not going to leave our schools in a safer place, reject this budget.”
The School Act requires boards to pass balanced budgets.
If trustees refuse, they could be fired.
The board will take a final vote Thursday.