Wednesday, February 8, 2012

BC's Learning Improvement Fund - 1 minute per student per day

The BC Ministry of Education has announced its "Learning Improvement Fund" via radio ads. Rather than put class sizes and class composition limits back into contract, and rather than reinstate teachers' ability to bargain working conditions, the government is setting up a fund to provide a paltry sum of additional money to supposedly address learning challenges. (And as an aside, it's not clear if it really is any additional money...the budget announcement for next year's funding is actually a 3% cut. It might just be re-purposing of money meaning cuts elsewhere.)

When class size and composition limits were removed in 2002, the government took $275 million per year from education budgets. How much is the Learning Improvement Fund? $30 million next year. $65 million the year after, and $75 million the year after that.

With 550,000 public school students in BC, what does this "improvement" look like?

27 cents per student per day, in year one.

For a whole class of thirty students, this is just over $8. That would buy about half an hour of an educational assistant time, to serve all 30 students. That works out to 1 minute per student per day. In year two, two minutes a day.


  1. This is not compensation for the support they've (Liberal govt.) taken from students and teachers in the classroom. It's a slap in the face!

    Wendy Turner

  2. insulting, inadequate, ill-informed...... time to change government and get this fixed!

  3. Hi Tara,

    Sorry to leave an unrelated comment, but I couldn’t find any contact info for you. I’m wondering if you’d be interested in a guest post. Please drop me an e-mail at garciaanthony39 at gmail dot com.



  4. And on top of everything else how much has it cost the government to actually have these messages broadcast? More $$ wasted.
    Dale Morrison

  5. Hi Tara,

    I just looked at the budget projection for SD 6 (Rocky Mountain). If enrollment stays constant, about 3300 students, the district will receive about $460K less in funding.

    If distribution of the $22.5 million COF next year (what's left after CUPE get $7.5 million as part of their settlement) is based on a per student amount, RMSD stands to gain between $113K to $127K, depending on whether private schools are included in the COF legislation.

    The legislated settlement proposed to remedy Bill 27 and 28 is not enough to offset a decade of cuts. It is not even enough to cover the coming year’s cuts.

  6. And so great that the first year's $30 million probably came from what they saved in paying us for the past three days we were on strike! Once again, we teachers are paying out of pocket for what they call 'improvements.' I bet Christy Clark is laughing her butt off at us all. She probably planned it to come to this all along. Teachers strike and pay the first year of a plan that they hope makes the government look good. Awesome.

    SD 34