BURNABY – As Christy Clark continues to starve school budgets, parents and teachers are being forced to pay for the basics in B.C.’s public schools, says New Democrat leader John Horgan.
“School starts next week, so many parents have already spent hundreds of dollars getting their kids ready for the classroom. But it doesn’t stop with school supplies. Across the province, parents and teachers are being forced to pay out of pocket – not for extras, but for the basics,” said Horgan.
Today, parents are expected to foot the bill for everything from playground equipment to materials for art and music classes, said Horgan, adding that not every parent can afford the extra costs. “That’s unfair to our kids, and it’s unfair to households already struggling with the high cost of living in Christy Clark’s B.C.,” Horgan said.
“When the B.C. Liberals announced a school coding program, some schools had to turn to parents just to buy functional computers. This is our public education system, but for parents, it’s far from free. Christy Clark is starving our schools, and as a result, family budgets are taking a hit.
“B.C. kids deserve a quality education all the time, not just every four years when an election is looming. The increasing education costs being passed to teachers and parents reveal the gaping holes the B.C. Liberals have deliberately created in our public education system.”
Horgan visited Burnaby today alongside New Democrat education spokesperson Rob Fleming to meet with Vancouver parent Andrea Wardrop and Morley Elementary teacher Tracy Simmons to discuss the cost burden being placed on teachers and parents.
“Since 2001, Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals have dragged public education funding in this province from the second best in Canada to the second worst. And this spring, the premier and her ministers have been appearing across the province with random acts of funding in a desperate attempt to get rid of bad headlines slamming their education record,” said Fleming.
“Most recently, they announced emergency funding for school bus programs – the same programs they encouraged school boards to cut, just months ago. Based on Christy Clark’s past choices, parents can assume the B.C. Liberals will just cut funding again if the bad headlines go away.
“We need a government that gets that our schools need stable, sustainable and adequate funding, and they need it today,” said Fleming.