The Illusory Nature of Funding Cuts To BC Education

Rob Shaw and Tracy Sherlock in the Vancouver Sun reported yesterday that the BC government has found $2.7 million dollars to keep nine rural and remote schools slated for closure due to budget cuts open, at least for one more year.  The story is useful because it does give a provincial platform to members on some of these school boards (poor saps) to  ask a few important questions.  Unfortunately, Sherlock and Shaw forgot, or were unable, to get a governmental response to these questions.

The most important question was asked by Lenora Trenaman, board chair of the Kootenay Lake School District: “…One has to question where that money is coming from and why wasn’t it available before our communities got so stressed?”

That is the essence of the announcement right there.  British Columbia’s schools were being asked to cut $80 million dollars this year, but then, after a public outcry, Clark & Co decided the cut could actually be $55 million.  Now for reasons unexplained, the cut is down to $52.3 million

  • In lat May the  National Observer and the CBC  both report that 30 school boards face $80 million dollars in cuts for the upcoming year
  • These cuts included $25 million that had to be found by school boards, but they didn’t need to find these savings, so the money was given back
  • That leaves cuts of $55 million
  • But yesterday another $2.7 million was found so we are down to 52.3 million

I think if anyone looks at this they will notice something: the cuts are motivated by something other than financial necessity.  If the money needed to be saved, and the BC Liberals could make a legitimate case for these savings, why does it not need to be saved now?

Have cuts been made to other areas of government spending?  I would love to hear the man with “20 years of experience in the natural gas industry”explain why BC really only needs to save $52.3 million and not $80 million.  Will any of our journalists risk their access and get the Minister of Education to give something other than canned PR approved responses ?

Didn’t think so.