From what I’ve heard and read in the media Rob Fleming’s plans for public education are very promising and now his mandate letter from Premier John Horgan clearly sets priorities:
- Fast-track enhancement to K-12 education funding.
- Review the funding formula to develop a stable and sustainable model for the K-12 education system.
- Provide additional annual funding to ensure students have the school supplies they need to succeed.
- Create an ongoing capital fund for school playgrounds.
- Make schools safer by accelerating the seismic upgrade program.
- Work in partnership to build and upgrade schools in every region of the province.
- Implement the new First Nations history curriculum, develop full-course offerings in Aboriginal languages and implement the educational Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
- Implement BC’s new school curriculum and provide new technology, lab equipment, learning material and professional development support for teachers.
I also appreciate that the mandate letter for Melanie Mark, the new Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, addresses these K-12 issues:
- Provide greater access to adult basic education and English-language learning programs by eliminating fees.
- Work with the Minister of Education to support co-op, apprenticeship and work-experience programs for high school and undergraduate students.
In the very short term all school districts must be able to fully implement the restored language on class size, class composition and specialist teacher ratios following the Supreme Court of Canada ruling, so that all BC students can have a good start to the new school year this September.
I am pleased to read that Rob Fleming would like to see the return of an elected board and will meet with the VSB Official Trustee and officials from the City of Vancouver to discuss a possible by election. However, an elected board must ensure a safe, respectful workplace in our district while working on behalf of our students.
With this change in government there is a great opportunity to change BC’s public education for the better and I wish Rob Fleming well as he takes on this exciting but also challenging portfolio.
New education minister wants a re-elected Vancouver School Board. Tracy Sherlock, Vancouver Courier July 24, 2017:
New Minister Vows ‘Fresh Attitude Towards Public Education’. Katie Hyslop, Tyee July 25, 2017:
CBC Early Edition (1:41 – 1:52), July 21, 2017: