School Trustees in Cowichan have taken a courageous stand to confront the BC government over inadequate funding. They have submitted a deficit budget, based on the restoration of all needed educational services. Their budget reinstates $10.8 million in lost government funding.
In response, the Minister of Education, George Abbott, has threatened to fire the Board. He evidently believes that the oath to submit a balanced budget is more important than the oath to provide a quality education to every child. He has his priorities wrong.
At a recent meeting to parents, Minister Abbott quiped: "there is one lone board threatening suicide". Mr. Abbott has complete and utter disregard for a Board that is choosing to stand with its community, rather than act as the government's henchmen. Cowichan Trustees aptly describe their actions: "we are not prepared to stand quietly and let schools, facilities and services to students deteriorate to the point where parents will send their kids to schools outside the district or to private schools".
The Cowichan Trustees are asking for support from the lower Island community and from British Columbians tired of seeing our public services eroded to feed never ending tax cuts for the rich. Please join the rallies and write to Minister Abbott to ask that the Cowichan budget be respected and the additional funding provided.