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Old 04-17-2014, 12:19 PM   #1
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School districts across B.C. planning deep cuts to balance budgets

School districts across B.C. planning deep cuts to balance budgets

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VANCOUVER -- School boards around the province are facing at least $56 million in budget cuts and considering eliminating more than 350 jobs heading into the new school year.

And that doesn’t include some districts that have not yet released their budget figures for next year, including Surrey, the largest district in the province.

...

While Vancouver’s budgetary woes have been caused at least in part by declining enrolment — districts are funded by the province on a per-pupil basis — many districts, such as Central Okanagan and Delta, are facing shortfalls despite the fact enrolment is projected to increase.

Budget cuts are still necessary in many areas because the overall provincial budget for education has remained flat, while rising costs — such as support staff wage increases, hydro cost increases, Medical Services Plan premiums and other mandatory benefit costs — are not being covered by the provincial government.

...
I am not against budget cuts as long as there are good justifications for them, but when it comes to our public education system, it baffles my mind that our provincial government is doing this year after year. IMO, there are very few government services that is as important as public education, and having cuts in this area just doesn't make sense.

I really don't want to turn this into yet another BC Liberals bashing thread, but the fact of the matter is, these guys have been at the helm of the province for the past what... 4 elections now? If they are not at least partly responsible for it, nobody else is. (Of course, voters who kept voting them in must bear at least some responsibility as well.)
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:25 PM   #2
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Remember back in the early 90's? When the liberal wasn't in power, yea all the gov did was borrow future money so they can fund everything. When it comes to paying the bill everything went up 2 to 5times as much as before.

Also to you maybe education is the most important but to me reducing tax and increasing jobs are on top of my list. Everyone have different views and also there are only so much funding and everything cost money. So something have to be cut.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:45 PM   #3
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The NDP heyday in the 90's was one end of the pendulum. Currently, we're at the other end of the pendulum with the BC Liberals. Neither extreme is good, and if you cannot see that, there is something drastically wrong with you.

I did not say education is the most important thing -- I said it was one of the most important things, and that means there are other things that are also very important. Law and order + healthcare readily comes to mind. A few other supportive structures will probably make the list as well.

As far as your concerns of reducing tax and increasing job numbers, education clearly plays an important role in that, although the effects are not immediate. I hope you'd have enough vision to see a bigger picture.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:08 PM   #4
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it's only gonna get worse...this has been going on for a while now.
you just have to look at classrooms today to see the extent of the problem. I really feel sorry for the kids who have learning disabilities as they are the ones who are impacted the most with all these cuts.

Remember when classes used to be strictly one grade? It's gonna get to the point where all classes are gonna be a mix of two and maybe more grades. Remember music class? That's probably gonna be history. Remember sports? ...and the list goes on.

If this isn't important in your books, I don't even know what to say.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:56 PM   #5
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I think they need to pay teachers more but increase class size and get rid of alot of jobs. I think elementary school requires teachers to have a lot of 1 on 1 with their students but in high school most kids don't need the teacher to babysit them therefore a big college lecture style should be good. And from my high school experience most highschool teachers now a days are a bunch of jerk offs anyway.

In my opinion I think secondary school should be limited to grade 10 with grade 11-12 being semi-optional to do college classes or college preparation.

Let's be honest; if you are 16 or 17 you may not know what you want to do as a career but you already know if you are planning on going to University or not.
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:34 PM   #6
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Classes are packed enough as it is.
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:44 PM   #7
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if we didn't spend so much money on bullshit hippy things we'd be fine.

approve a pipeline or 7. smash out a provincial park or 2 for resources. we have enough parks sitting around doing nothing. let's log some more trees. go drive around bc. you can go hours in packed forests and that's just off of main highways.

alberta is building new hospitals. we're consolidating ours. oil sands and the like are big bad and evil but they generate stupid income for the government.
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:49 PM   #8
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I did not say education is the most important thing -- I said it was one of the most important things, and that means there are other things that are also very important. Law and order + healthcare readily comes to mind. A few other supportive structures will probably make the list as well.

As far as your concerns of reducing tax and increasing job numbers, education clearly plays an important role in that, although the effects are not immediate. I hope you'd have enough vision to see a bigger picture.
This. Don't really understand how increasing jobs take priority over education, if the new workforce (i.e., kids who are in school now) lacks the skills and education to fill these positions, the gov't/private companies are going to recruit foreign workers to come here instead... and that isn't good for anybody.

It's sad that this is what's happening to our education system, I remember when I was in HS, all the parent-teacher associations were against split-grade classes when it seems to be the norm now. Classes are over-crowded and children aren't getting the attention/education they deserve, ESPECIALLY "trouble kids" (family issues, violence, alcoholism/drug abuse, etc.) who will eventually grow up without the proper help and create a large drain on social services. IMO, a good, well-funded education system is integral to a functioning society.
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Old 04-17-2014, 04:29 PM   #9
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The education program is one area that should be allowed to run a deficit.
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Old 04-17-2014, 04:57 PM   #10
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I hear the teachers are planning strike action. They say it's about class sizes but for some reason their demands always include pay raises. They're so worried about budget cuts to the schools, maybe they should lay off on the salaries and instead make it a bargaining condition that that money go into the school coffers themselves.
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:04 PM   #11
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^^^ that would be ideal; but as far as the teacher's union goes, it's all about $$ in their members' pockets.

I'm sure not all teachers feel the same way about this; but that's union thinking for you
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:04 PM   #12
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I hear the teachers are planning strike action. They say it's about class sizes but for some reason their demands always include pay raises. They're so worried about budget cuts to the schools, maybe they should lay off on the salaries and instead make it a bargaining condition that that money go into the school coffers themselves.
when aren't the teachers planning on striking?
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:29 PM   #13
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when aren't the teachers planning on striking?
True that... more specifically then, as of about three hours ago, they HAVE served strike notice:

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The BC Teachers Union will serve 72 hour "low level job action" notice. Job action targets administration and the union says students will not be affected. The job action begins Wednesday April 23rd. Talks at the table are going nowhere according to union President Jim Iker.
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:39 PM   #14
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It's okay, we don't need to worry about educating our youths, they can just graduate to work at mcdonalds and retail jobs.

ohh wait, sorry, the Temporary Foreign Workers program already took that away.

Seriously, some of the policies our governments have made recently are just fucking stupid.
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:41 PM   #15
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Budget cuts? What ?


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West Vancouver Secondary School is phasing in mobile devices for its high school students, becoming the first school in the district to require iPads or similar tablet computers in the classroom.
The tablets will be requested for students in Grade 8 and 9 and encouraged for those in Grade 10, according to the school district when school starts in September.
West Vancouver Secondary is the first of three high schools in the district that will require students to use mobile tablets this September. Sentinel High School is expected to announce its plan soon, followed by Rockridge Secondary.
Steve Rauh, the principal of West Vancouver Secondary says he understands that not all families will be able to afford to send each of their child into classes with a mobile devices.
But he says the school has made provisions to help those families who can't buy tablets.
"I'm anticipating certainly that there will be families that we will support and I've set aside some money to purchase devices that we will loan them for the year."
District officials say more than 90 per cent of students in the elementary schools already have a device and access technology in classrooms.
Tracey Dignum, who has three children going to school in the district, says after seeing how her youngest son uses a device in class, her concerns about internet safety have been met.
"Can I trust it will be safe? Can I trust that he won't be gaming or doing inappropriate things on the internet? So I've had the luxury of seeing that it does work," says Dignum.



source: iPads, tablets required for West Van high school students - British Columbia - CBC News

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Old 04-17-2014, 09:48 PM   #16
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^^^ that would be ideal; but as far as the teacher's union goes, it's all about $$ in their members' pockets.

I'm sure not all teachers feel the same way about this; but that's union thinking for you
There's a lot of uneducated union bashing in this thread. Yes there are MANY drawbacks of unions, and I'm not a fan of them. But they are a NECESSITY nowadays.

If not for unions, we'd all be working 60 + hours a week, working weekends and basically have on rights.

Unions are the reasons we have things such as "breaks", and "weekends" and an actual 40 hour work week.

I see soo many people that think Everyone should be working 60 + hours a week with no breaks and no worker rights. This isnt a 3rd world country. This isnt acceptable in the western world.


In the case of the teachers, they are only offered a 5.5% raise over 5 years, with the first few years being 0%. so it becomes effectively less than 1%.

Normally teachers want 4-5% increase a year, but lets face it, they are public servants, and realistically, should be only getting 2% a year wage increases that somewhat matches inflation.
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:56 PM   #17
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Demographics have changed in BC, some places like downtown core needs more schools vs say West Van. Unfortunately once a school had been opened, it seems to be sacrilegious to close them, even if it is half full or use energy like it is the 1950s.

I would blame the pension short fall and 2008 for causing a lot of older teachers staying at their jobs longer the planners had plan. I know a teacher who is 75 just retired last year. There are a lot more teachers being churned out these days.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:09 PM   #18
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Ok where are the fundings going to come from? You only have so much, unless you take fundings from other areas or raise taxes.

Since all of you are saying educations are so important and it needs the fundings it needs where would you cut fundings to support the education system or would you rather raise taxes?
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:33 PM   #19
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Ok where are the fundings going to come from? You only have so much, unless you take fundings from other areas or raise taxes.

Since all of you are saying educations are so important and it needs the fundings it needs where would you cut fundings to support the education system or would you rather raise taxes?
You for one, could have done with some more funding for your education. We should just add a cell phone levy. Kids nowadays all have the newest iphones etc. They might as well contribute to their own education.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:05 AM   #20
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why can't we import some high-paying foreign students? like what they do in universities


semi-srs.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:40 AM   #21
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Ok where are the fundings going to come from? You only have so much, unless you take fundings from other areas or raise taxes.

Since all of you are saying educations are so important and it needs the fundings it needs where would you cut fundings to support the education system or would you rather raise taxes?
I personally don't agree with raising taxes again. The taxes we pay in BC, especially for things like gasoline, are already too high.

What I DO see however, are corporate bigwigs in Crown corporations taking away huge salaries and bonuses (such as Canada Post, BC Ferries, ICBC, etc.) even though many of these crown or gov't-subsidized corporations are running at a deficit, or are being ran with little to no efficiency. Seriously, Canada Post abolishing door-to-door delivery? What the hell is the point of mail then. I might as well use UPS/Fedex/Purolator.

It's not the most popular idea, but I personally would sleep easier at night knowing my future children will have a first-world education rather than some CEO not being able to afford a winter home in Tahiti...

And like someone said above, it's time to really utilize our MASSIVE, and by massive, I mean more than some developed nations, environmental resources. Log some trees, approve a pipeline, start digging for oil in BC, for BC so we can lower the prices of fuel.

You may not see where the money can be found for education, but I do... on my commute into downtown every day. Stupid things like bike lanes when we should be building more resources for inner-city and "trouble kids" like I mentioned above. Because that's who will cause the biggest drain on our social services once they come of age, and we could be nipping their problems in the bud.

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Old 04-18-2014, 12:49 AM   #22
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A lot of schools at the suburbs do it like Tri Cities SD 43.. they found out the hard way that without prestige.. they lose a crap load of money.

Teachers should just stick with freaking teach.. leave the entrepreneurship to people who know what the hell they are doing.

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Old 04-18-2014, 12:56 AM   #23
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I personally don't agree with raising taxes again. The taxes we pay in BC, especially for things like gasoline, are already too high.

What I DO see however, are corporate bigwigs in Crown corporations taking away huge salaries and bonuses (such as Canada Post, BC Ferries, ICBC, etc.) even though many of these crown or gov't-subsidized corporations are running at a deficit, or are being ran with little to no efficiency. Seriously, Canada Post abolishing door-to-door delivery? What the hell is the point of mail then. I might as well use UPS/Fedex/Purolator.

It's not the most popular idea, but I personally would sleep easier at night knowing my future children will have a first-world education rather than some CEO not being able to afford a winter home in Tahiti...

And like someone said above, it's time to really utilize our MASSIVE, and by massive, I mean more than some developed nations, environmental resources. Log some trees, approve a pipeline, start digging for oil in BC, for BC so we can lower the prices of fuel.

You may not see where the money can be found for education, but I do... on my commute into downtown every day. Stupid things like bike lanes when we should be building more resources for inner-city and "trouble kids" like I mentioned above. Because that's who will cause the biggest drain on our social services once they come of age, and we could be nipping their problems in the bud.
The CEOs at the Crown corporations you mentioned have very reasonable salaries; were only talking at the mid range in the hundreds of thousands each. The average person needs to stop comparing that with their own situation and thinking "boy, does that number look big" when they have no idea what an executive even does. If you want to play comparisons, let's bring in everything from level of responsibility, experience, education, leadership abilities, skill sets, work related pressures, hours of work, travel, community involvement, etc. Then suddenly, the picture looks quite fair.

Any less pay and the CEO is making as much as a Future shop store manager lol... at that point, you might as well just work in the private sector and leave crappy talent running these companies. Tell me, what is John Chen's pay package for only ATTEMPTING to turn around Blackberry? 88 million. Case closed.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:59 AM   #24
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What I DO see however, are corporate bigwigs in Crown corporations taking away huge salaries and bonuses (such as Canada Post, BC Ferries, ICBC, etc.) even though many of these crown or gov't-subsidized corporations are running at a deficit, or are being ran with little to no efficiency. Seriously, Canada Post abolishing door-to-door delivery? What the hell is the point of mail then. I might as well use UPS/Fedex/Purolator.

It's not the most popular idea, but I personally would sleep easier at night knowing my future children will have a first-world education rather than some CEO not being able to afford a winter home in Tahiti...
Actually for a CEO managing a company the size of crown corporations they are being paid cheap, plus they have a deficit because they are not allowed to cut unprofitable ventures. If you look at translink's numbers, they are actually managed really well aside from the smart card fiasco. Also CEO's of crown corporations dont get compensated with stock options for obvious reasons

And as for unions, they were necessary back in the days but in modern times the cons outweigh the benefits. The employment standards act is really strict and does most of the concept of unions (mediations, arbitrations).
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:41 AM   #25
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The CEOs at the Crown corporations you mentioned have very reasonable salaries; were only talking at the mid range in the hundreds of thousands each. The average person needs to stop comparing that with their own situation and thinking "boy, does that number look big" when they have no idea what an executive even does. If you want to play comparisons, let's bring in everything from level of responsibility, experience, education, leadership abilities, skill sets, work related pressures, hours of work, travel, community involvement, etc. Then suddenly, the picture looks quite fair.

Any less pay and the CEO is making as much as a Future shop store manager lol... at that point, you might as well just work in the private sector and leave crappy talent running these companies. Tell me, what is John Chen's pay package for only ATTEMPTING to turn around Blackberry? 88 million. Case closed.
The biggest different between Blackberry and BC Ferries ; ICBC ; CP is the gov't corporations are monopolies where Blackberry is in a competitive market. I have no problem paying the CEO of RBC a billion dollars if that is what it takes to increase market share and profits of shareholders. FOR ICBC who is the competition? BINGS insurance? Last I checked everyone in this province HAS to get basic insurance from ICBC - no ifs, no buts. Same for BC ferries, how are you going to get your Okanagan apples to Victoria? Air Freight? Canada Post is an oligopoly because of FED EX and UPS. Purolator is their sub. SO can any half witted CEO run a monopoly - you tell me why not? The travel , the "leadership" , work related pressure? (you mean 8-4 out the door mentality? unless in a criss ). So get rid of the over paying and hire someone reasonable OR privatize and see if those salaries are sustainable - the market will decide.

The whole problem is that People who make decisions get paid 10x more than the average individual. SO when making 100k a year paying $3 for a toll is a drop in the bucke, hell paying even $5 for toll is no problem, but making 40k a year it starts to matter.
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