VANCOUVER, June 10 /CNW/ - Chris Harris, President of the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers' Association (VESTA), had the opportunity to meet with the Minister of Education today to discuss public education funding for Vancouver schools. "I appreciate the time the Minister made available to meet with me," Chris Harris states.
"Teachers in Vancouver are concerned about the funding to our schools and the erosion of service to students, and I expressed this to the Minister," Chris Harris says. "From the perspective of teachers in Vancouver, there is no evidence that there is enough money in the system. From our standpoint, the chronic underfunding of Vancouver schools has reached a critical point - and not just for students with special needs and or students who speak English as a second language. Teaching and learning conditions in Vancouver schools need to be addressed by the Minister."
"Unfortunately, there has been nothing forwarded to the Board at this time that mitigate the 341 layoff notices to teachers, or the erosion of services to Vancouver schools," Chris Harris continues. "The VSB needs to get more funding, and I asked the Minister to take a look at the entire provincial funding mandate. Presently, the province is spending hundreds of millions on private schools, and I explained Vancouver teachers' positions that issues such as funding to private schools need to be discussed in the context of underfunding to public education."
"The Minister told me that the public education funding was being looked at," Chris Harris says. "I hope that real solutions will happen for students and teachers in Vancouver. Teachers want to be able to help students reach their full potential. After ten years of cuts, ten years of eliminating crucial services to learners, a change needs to be made in how the province approaches public school funding."
"Teachers supported the majority of our trustees in the last election because they ran on a mandate of advocating for public education and the learning needs of Vancouver students," Chris Harris explains. "Students and their public schools in Vancouver need trustees who will speak up for them in this context of serious underfunding."
SOURCE VESTA: VANCOUVER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION
For further information: For further information: Chris Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org, 6047605833 (cell)