Sunday, April 12th 2015 at Noon
Families Against Cuts to Education (FACE) Rally
VANCOUVER - "If you love public education, show your face!" is the call to action from parent groups protesting provincial underfunding of education, delays to seismic upgrading, and recently proposed changes to the School Act. At noon on April 12th, Vancouver parents are invited to join our family-friendly rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
The FACE day of action is a non-partisan initiative by the parent groups FixBCEd, Protect Public Education Now, MLA Playdate and the Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council. Rally organizer Jen Stewart says, "It's time for the BC government to 'face' the fact that parents are deeply distressed by their education policies and the most recent cuts announced in February, which have school boards scrambling to save valuable programs and services. Parents have been speaking out, but we need to get louder, and unite our voices."
Parents are encouraged to bring their children to the rally, and to use the day of action as an opportunity to connect with others from their communities. Vancouver’s event will feature speakers including Adrienne Montani of First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition; musical performers include blues guitarist Steve Sainas, who received the 2015 Juno Teacher of the Year Award for his music program at Terry Fox School in Coquitlam. The Vancouver FACE Rally will culminate in a march around the Art Gallery. Participants are encouraged to play on the "FACE" theme by painting their faces and by using the FACE photo booth to send a message and a “selfie” to their MLA. Rally organizer Marlene Rodgers suggests, "Please take the opportunity that this day of action provides: write or send a photo to the Education Minister or your MLA; sign a petition; and learn about the proposed $ 9 million budget cuts being made in the Vancouver school district.”
Despite a provincial surplus of over $800 million, the 2015 education budget includes cuts of $29 million to operating budgets, $40 million to capital funding and $30 million to transfers to partners who support K-12 education; it makes no allowance for inflation or other rising costs like medicare premiums and hydro rates. In Vancouver, a special adviser to the school board has been appointed by Education Minister Peter Fassbender to recommend cuts; on the heels of this, Fassbender has proposed Bill 11 which, among other changes, would allow the provincial government to override the decisions of democratically elected local school boards.
For all these reasons, Vancouver DPAC urges parents to speak up against funding cuts. http://www.vancouverdpac.org/latest-bulletin.html
You are invited to attend upcoming Vancouver School Board meetings on the 2015/2016 Operating Budget Proposals and find out if there will be a negative impact from budget cuts at your school.
Vancouver Parents, please mark these calendar dates and plan to attend public budget hearings.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 7pm
Mount Pleasant School, 2300 Guelph St.
Public input on the 2015/2016 Preliminary Budget.
Monday, April 27, 2015 at 7 pm
Education Centre, 1580 West Broadway
Public Input on the Revised 2015/2016 Budget Proposal.