Education items from budget speech

Excerpts from BC Budget relating to education

Budget 2007 provides $633 million over three years in increased funding for K–12 education. This is in addition to the $132 million allocated in previous budgets, for a total funding increase of $765 million over three years. This increase includes funding for negotiated settlements of $94 million in 2007/08, $188 million in 2008/09 and $284 million in 2009/10.

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Overall, the K–12 budget increases an average 2.3 per cent per year, and fully funds the negotiated settlements reached earlier this year with employees in the K–12 sector, as well as an increase to the Teacher’s Pension Plan contribution rate.

The negotiated settlements in the education sector balance the interests of taxpayers and employees and allow parents, educators, students and administrators to build the best possible education system. In addition, the teacher’s compensation agreement, the first to be successfully negotiated since 1994, contains a number of initiatives, including enabling rural and remote school districts to attract teachers to more difficult to fill positions.

The average per pupil funding for 2007/08 is estimated at $7,910, an increase of 4.1 per cent over 2006/07. Per pupil funding is projected to continue to rise to $8,430 by 2009/10. There were about 12,300 fewer students in 2006/07 than the previous year and enrollment is projected to continue to fall about 1 per cent per year over the fiscal plan.

Independent schools will receive additional grants of $43 million to increase the share of government funding of programs that provide physical, health, intellectual and psychological services to students with special needs, giving families more choices in their children’s education.

Full government info can be found here.

Counterpoint and analysis of the budget can be found on the BCTF Research Webpage. According to the BCTF research the budget increase is closer to 2.54% next year as opposed to the 4.1% the government claims.

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