#MIAMLA: BC Liberal MLA in hiding over school closures

Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson is MIA.

Larson was only too happy to announce $271,000 in improvements to Osoyoos Secondary School (OSS) just four months ago in a November 9, 2015 media release.

“Work is expected to be completed by spring 2016,” says the release. And completed just in time! OSS are now to be closed and students bused to Oliver.

Naturally, her constituents don’t want their town’s only schools closed and their kids bused half an hour down the highway.

They also want an explanation from their MLA who represents them in Victoria – and they want their concerns heard. Here’s what the local paper had to say: Continue reading #MIAMLA: BC Liberal MLA in hiding over school closures

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Parents! Show your FACE and speak up for public education in BC.

FACE: Families Against Cuts to Education

We invite parents and citizens all over the province to show their FACE on April 12th by holding rallies in their communities to protest provincial cuts to public education. We are hoping that our family-friendly rally in Vancouver will spark a province-wide day of action in support of our public education system. Continue reading Parents! Show your FACE and speak up for public education in BC.

What’s getting cut from your School District’s budget? And your kid’s classroom?

Updated: July 8

The provincial budget delivered a double-whammy to School Districts across BC this year.

The budget fails to provide school districts with the funds to pay for increases to such as the provincially-controlled MSP and BC Hydro rates, as well as to absorb the costs of inflation. Many of the boards had already begun their budget development processes for the 2015/16 school year and likely anticipated this budgetary pressure.

What they didn’t anticipate that boards must now find an additional $29 million in ‘administrative savings’ in 2015/16. Then there’s the another $25 million to be cut in 2016/17, and another cut in 2017/18.

So cuts are coming to your school district. Boards are clear too, these cuts will have impacts on your child, their classmates, classroom services and your local school.

What to do about it? Continue reading What’s getting cut from your School District’s budget? And your kid’s classroom?

BC Budget 2015: So, whose kids go under the bus first?

As school boards make cuts to implement this budget, parents’ anger will return.

Many parents might drift through the budget announcement hearing little the high-level ‘analysis’ of a ‘balanced budget’ from the media. Day-to-day, they’re just trying to make a living and do their best for their families. Most have other more immediate concerns.

This will change. Continue reading BC Budget 2015: So, whose kids go under the bus first?

Speak up for BC public education funding. MLA offers a how-to workshop.

It’s time for parents to speak up for our kids’ public education and it’s funding.

Over the last few weeks we’ve seen parents speaking out online about a lack of textbooks, overcrowded and under-maintained schools. We’ve heard about unsafe and out-of-date shop classes. We’ve heard about special needs kids going without assessment and without services. We’ve heard of libraries without librarians or the funds to replace or buy new books. The list just goes on…

Government needs to know hear these things directly and on the record — not just through their monitoring of social media. We urge you to present your views to our MLAs and your government through the BC Legislature’s 2015 Budget Consultations.

It’s OK to admit that you’re nervous. And it’s OK to ask for help presenting your arguments. Preparing your ideas and turning them into a letter, video or presentation can seem daunting. There is help!

Sue Hammell, the MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers has stepped up to offer assistance. On October 14, she is offering a workshop for parents on presenting to the Select Standing Committee on Finance.

Speak Up for Public Education: present to the finance committee
Date and time:
Tuesday, September 14 at 6pm
Location: 100 – 9030 King George Boulevard, Surrey
To register: email sue.hammell.mla@leg.bc.ca or call 604.590.5868

Guest speakers:
Charlene Dobie, Surrey School Board Trustee
Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake and Education Critic
Helesia Luke, Researcher Continue reading Speak up for BC public education funding. MLA offers a how-to workshop.

Your kids are back in school. Their schools are still underfunded. And your MLAs miss you.

MLAs closed their doors on MLA Playdates.  But now they are holding their 2015 budget consultations!

Yes, your MLAs miss you. And their are now asking for your input on public education spending. We suggest you give it to them. Continue reading Your kids are back in school. Their schools are still underfunded. And your MLAs miss you.

Students and parents “Deliver your message to end the strike” to MLA Andrew Wilkinson

If the BC teachers’ strike matters to you, we ask that you take a few minutes out of your day to “Deliver Your Message.” On a Post-It note, have your kids write why they want to be back at school. Parents should do the same.

Parents are encouraged to Deliver Your Message at your local MLA office every day starting from Tuesday, September 16. Kids can bring backpacks and books to show that they want to be back in the classroom.

Date and Time: Tuesday, September 16 – 8:45am
Location: MLA Andrew Wilkinson’s office, 5640 Dunbar Street (between 40th and 41st Ave), Vancouver. Continue reading Students and parents “Deliver your message to end the strike” to MLA Andrew Wilkinson