The B.C. Teachers’ Federation says it wants a piece of the provinces $1.9 billion surplus announced by Finance Minister Mike de Jong Thursday.
Teri Mooring, Vice President of the BCTF, says it’s time to stop with random one time funding initiatives by the Liberals.
“School districts can’t budget on one time money that they don’t know is going to continue. What asking were for is the base level of education funding be increased so that it’s predictable.”
Curriculum changes and a lack of special needs educators
Mooring says with a huge surplus it’s extremely realistic for the government to put up extra money.
“We’re pleased that the government is enjoying a surplus and we’re hoping that the government is going to put some of it back into education.”
She says districts need funds for curriculum changes and there’s demand to replace special needs teachers that have been cut.
“Money for the curriculum changes, so we need money resources, textbooks, and materials, so that teachers can implement that curriculum. We’ve also lost thousands of specialist teachers in the system since 2002.”
Asked what the right dollar amount is?
“We know that we’re more than $1,000 less per student in terms of funding. We’re going to need some substantial increases.”
Mooring says the BCTF will go before the government’s select standing committee to request for more funds.
Meanwhile, one woman wants to see money from the surplus poured back into disability assistance.
Use the surplus to return the disability transit pass
Patricia White says thousands have had to make a tough choice between transportation and money.
“If there’s money available, why not put it back into people with disabilities, give us back what they took away, what was taken away from us in the first place, and there’s no reason it should have been taken away.”
White is on disability assistance.
Earlier this month, disability payment rates saw a hike of $77 dollars, but the government scrapped its $45 annual bus pass fee for a $52 monthly subsidized pass — leaving people who need transportation with a $25 increase.
For White, a $1.9 billion surplus is good news but also disheartening.
“In all honesty, I think it’s a little messed up.”
White says she’s been fronting money monthly for the pass even if she’s not able to travel right now because of a physical injury.