B.C.'s education funding model review calls for equitable services for students | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C.'s education funding model review calls for equitable services for students

December 19, 2018 - 2:46 PM

VICTORIA - A panel report has found that the way British Columbia funds public education isn't fair, especially for vulnerable students or those with special needs, says the provincial education minister.

Rob Fleming said the report calls for an education funding model review that focuses on more equitable services for students.

"All students deserve the best educational experience possible and access to the same types of services and supports should be available no matter where they live in the province," he said at a news conference Wednesday.

Working groups will be formed in January to provide advice on how to make education funding work better for students, the minister said.

"The working groups will be able to provide our government with advice that will be crucial," Fleming said.

The groups will also look at improving services in rural and remote districts and the fast-growing districts, he said.

The input is expected to be back by next fall and Fleming said no changes will be made to the existing funding model for the 2019-20 school year.

"The frame of the report is around strengthening equity in the system so kids in every part of B.C. have the same life opportunities after they complete their school career successfully," he said.

B.C. Teachers Federation president Glen Hansman said he hopes the process will lead to changes that make working conditions better for students and teachers in the province.

Green house leader Sonia Furstenau said the outcome of the report shows the government needs to do a better job of supporting students with special needs.

"This report makes clear that education funding practices in our province have fallen short of providing students and teachers with equitable opportunities to thrive," Furstenau said in a statement.

Ultimately, Furstenau said the government needs to look at increasing overall education funding.

"Children in kindergarten today will graduate high school in 2032. They will enter the workforce in a world that looks much different than it does now," she said. "We must ensure that our education system adequately prepares them for the new opportunities and challenges they will face."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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