VANCOUVER - The Vancouver School Board needs to stop looking at places to cut services to students and start standing up to Victoria, according to CUPE Local 15, whose members include over 1,400 support workers in School District 39.
CUPE 15 president Paul Faoro says that fair funding from the B.C. government is the major solution to budget woes facing School District 39. “It is unfair to students and parents to cut services while more than $3 million in holdback funds specifically for the Vancouver School District sit in Victoria. These provincial funds, which are committed to the District in 2007-08, cannot be relied upon because the province reneged on releasing similar funds to us this year,” says Faoro.
“Trustees should be making vigorous and public efforts to get Victoria to commit that this year’s failure to deliver “holdback” funds does not happen again in 2007/08.”
Faoro also calls on school trustees to use the district’s uncommitted Local Capital Reserve of $4.3 million to maintain services to students in the district.
CUPE 15 is responding to the Vancouver School Board 2007/08 preliminary budget proposals. The VSB’s proposed budget predicts a shortfall of $5.82 million, resulting in significant cuts to teachers and front line support staff. Consultations on the preliminary school district operating budget will continue over the next while, with a final budget to be submitted to the Minister of Education by June 30.
Faoro will be attending a public consultation on the budget tonight at the Vancouver School Board’s Education Centre boardroom.
CUPE 15 will be working with parents, teachers and the community over the next weeks to ensure that Vancouver area MLAs and the Education Minister get the message that the district needs proper funding.
Contact:CUPE 15 President Paul Faoro 604.879.4671 (office); 604.202.1829 (cell)