LIBERALS' SMOKE AND MIRRORS ON EDUCATION FUNDING
Marc Lee of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has just updated the January 2004 report, "Who's Cutting Classes? Untangling the Spin about K-12 Education in BC," to take into account the Liberals' most recent education funding announcements. Lee notes that funding still remains lower than in 2000/01 and 2001/02. He says "an additional $58 million would be required to restore 2005/06 funding to 2001/02 levels, and $84 million to restore funding to 1990/91 levels."
Columnist Barbara McLintock, in an article written for The Tyee, also points out that "next year, the plan is to increase the total budgets for public schools by only $60 million less than half this year's increase. And by the year 2007-08, the increase will be a measly $17 million (on a total budget for more than $4 billion). Just dealing with the normal costs of inflation, let alone any wage increases or paying for the skyrocketing fuel prices, will more than eat up that sum." (Budget Plans Spell End to B.C. Libs' Spending Binge http://www.thetyee.ca/News/2005/04/12/EndSpendingBinge/
Education analyst John Malcolmson says "the real story in K-12 finance is that a funding freeze in place since 2001/02 will be reinstated effective 2006/07 and is to remain in place for at least two years. Real funding hikes it appears are only appropriate during election years." He further points out that the $20 million in new funding in each of the two following years amounts to less than one half of one per cent! (Liberals Reactivate Public School Funding Freeze, Finance Watch, April 2005.)