FPSE calls for a renewed funding commitment to English as an Additional Language Programs

VANCOUVER, Nov. 18, 2015 /CNW/ - The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE) is calling on the BC government to reinstate funding to English as an Additional Language (EAL) programs in post-secondary institutions.

"While we commend the BC government for proclaiming the week of November 15 – 21, 2015 as 'EAL Week,' this proclamation would carry a lot more weight if it came with a funding commitment," said George Davison, President of FPSE. "Immigrants represent a large cross-section of English language learners, yet they can't access all the opportunities our province has to offer because of a lack of access to affordable English language training."

In 2014, the BC government cut $22 million in funding from EAL programs in post-secondary institutions, after losing the same amount in program-specific transfer payments from the federal government.

"For a government that posted a $1.68 billion dollar surplus a few short months ago, restoring $22 million to English language training is not out of reach," said Davison. "We ask the Premier and Minister Wilkinson to invest in new British Columbians by reinstating EAL program funding."

FPSE, along with several other organizations representing students and educators across BC, made this same appeal to the Legislature's all-party Select Standing Committee on Finance this fall.  That committee published its recommendations last Friday. The first recommendation is to "restore full and sustained funding to the Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs."

"We are pleased the committee recognizes the importance of these programs," said Davison. "We hope the Premier and her cabinet will make the right decision and implement the recommendations."

SOURCE Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC

For further information: contact Leah Squance, FPSE communications officer, at 604-873-8988 (office) or 604-992-1607 (cell).

RELATED LINKS
http://www.fpse.ca/

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