The connections between expanding education and reducing poverty are self-evident. Meaningful, long-term training and education must be offered and supported, so that low-income people can access stable, well-paying jobs.
Our Recommended Action on Education includes:
- Reduce tuition fees by 50% and increase the availability of post-secondary grants for low-income students
- Allow welfare recipients to attend post-secondary education and get apprenticeships
- Adequately fund K-12 education to mitigate inequalities and to ensure adequate library, special needs and ESL programs
The BCPRC at School
Check out our At School page, where we have resources for both students and teachers to take upstream action against poverty. There’s lesson plans, postcards, petitions, posters and more!
Take Action: Sign up to take Raise the Rates’ 5th Annual Welfare Food Challenge in October 2016.
Try our Share the Weight: An upstream alternative (or supplement) to your Food Bank Drive lesson plan.
BCTF Infographics and Resources
The BCTF’s Committee for Action on Social Justice created a series of infographics for anti-poverty month in February 2016. Click the images above to see them up close. Their anti-poverty action group has also compiled a wide selection of lesson plans and resources that teachers can use to take anti-poverty action in the classroom. This includes their comprehensive report the Poverty and Education survey: A teacher’s perspective, which documents from a teacher’s perspective the poverty-related needs of students, assesses the adequacy of resources to meet these needs, and identifies what resources are most needed to address poverty issues within BC public schools and the community.
Open the Doors
How? Paid in Full, a report by Iglika Ivanova of the CCPA demonstrates that it is “economically feasible to improve access by reducing the up-front financial barriers to education and recognizing the payments graduates make for their schooling throughout their working careers.”
Underfunding of K-12 Public Education
“Every year, structural underfunding forces students, schools and communities across BC to compete for increasingly scarce dollars. It forces school boards to make impossible choices over which vital program to save or to cut, and it forces PACs to fundraise inordinate amounts of money to compensate for these losses, creating inequality between schools.”
-Jennifer Stewart, parent and co-founder of Families Against Cuts to Education
Due to inadequate provincial funding and downloaded expenses, at least 31 school districts faced funding shortfalls totaling $85 million this year. Because districts must maintain balanced budgets, in order to accomplish this, they must decide what programs and services to shut down. In 2015, the BC School Trustees’ Association, which represents 59 of the 60 boards, released a list of cost-cutting measures that boards have taken to balance their budgets, which included delayed replacement of textbooks and library books, loss of co-curricular music and arts programs, and program, classroom and school closures. Alex Hemingway of the CCPA wrote a detailed report on the funding crisis, and a follow-up article defending the report from the government’s response.