BC government cuts $16 million in education funding - Macleans.ca

BC government cuts $16 million in education funding

Last-minute cuts incense hundreds of students


It’s understandable that in tough economic times, governments will make funding cuts. The BC government’s latest $16m cut to education funding, however, is completely inexcusable.

Not only is it in clear violation of the BC Liberals’ May election platform promise (p. 26) to “maintain this year’s funding levels for student aid,” but according to BC MLA Gary Coons, “the Campbell government delayed telling students the programs had been cancelled… in order to hide the cuts until after the election.”

Indeed, several students who applied for the March deadlined Premier’s Excellence Award – a $15,000 scholarship awarded to the top high school students in the province – recently telephoned the Ministry of Advanced Education requesting the results of their applications. They were told that the judging process was complete and that the winners would be notified shortly.

When the news came that the scholarship was eliminated, most students, including myself, reasonably assumed that this year’s winners would still receive their awards and that the program would cease to exist next year. Alas, this was not the case.

After several phone calls to various government representatives, it has been confirmed that the program will be eliminated immediately, meaning even those students who applied and were apparently selected as recipients this year are out of luck.

This failure to notify students before they spent hours applying for the scholarship – or at least before they spent months anxiously awaiting the results – has been met with understandable outrage.

Other cuts include eliminating the Nurses Education Bursary at a time when the province is in dire need of more nurses, as well as the:

Permanent Disability Benefits
Debt Reduction in Repayment
BC Loan Reduction for Residential Care Aid and Home Support Worker
Health Care Bursary
Early Childhood Educator Loan Assistance


BC government cuts $16 million in education funding

  1. I find it very disturbing that neither Student Aid or the Premiere’s office have had the courtesy to communicate the decision to the prospective award winners to date. These top students, one nominated by each high school, are our future leaders. What an example the BC government has given them. The government must obviously be in dire straights to conduct themselves in this manner. Even if the cash was eliminated, common courtesy and interest would have these students still recognized for their acheivements.

  2. This, I’m afraid, is just the beginning. Don’t forget! Campbell has been instructed to wipeout as much of the middle class as he can while still in office, Any future Liberal party leader will continue this work once Campbell is gone. Public education has steadily declined over the past 8 years. Chronic under funding, school closures, out dated texts, inadequate equipment, cold schools, and over crowded class rooms are the norm. Staff moral has never been lower – throughout the province. That is 8 lost years where we could have made meaningful improvements to the quality of education. Teachers have taken up as much slack as humanly possible during this time, and many will continue to do so even if it cost them thier health. Sadly, I believe we are fast/finally approaching the breaking point, and Campbell has worked hard to get us here. You may be witnessing the final days of public education as you know it. Sadly, most won’t even notice it’s gone before it’s too late.

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