VICTORIA (June 25, 2020) — Dan Davies, MLA for Peace River-North and Opposition Critic for Education, challenged Education Minister Rob Fleming on the 20 per cent in funding cuts the NDP government has slashed from Independent Distributed Learning (IDL) school budgets during the Ministry of Education budget estimates debate in the B.C. Legislature on Thursday.
“I have received hundreds of emails from students, teachers and families asking this government to explain why they have slashed IDL education funding,” said Davies. “I confronted the minister about these cuts face-to-face and he refused to acknowledge the concerns IDL students and parents.”
When asked why John Horgan and the NDP broke their promise to IDL schools and families to not slash funding, the minister dismissed the question as “simply wrong” and suggested there were no cuts to the IDL school budgets.
Davies walked Fleming through the cuts, dollar-by-dollar, but the Minister continued to deny he’d taken the funding away.
“There is no way around it. The standard per-student funding for IDL students throughout 2017 to 2020 was $3,843. Now it is only $3,050,” added Davies. “This is $800 that teachers and families no longer have to invest in our students. For this minister to claim that this isn’t a cut completely dismisses the very real concerns of hundreds of families who have asked this minister to help them protect their children’s education and it is frankly shameful.”
IDL schools often cater to students who struggle in traditional schooling and serve students with diverse learning needs, or who live in remote areas and don’t have access to public schools. The BC Liberals will continue pressing the NDP government on this issue and have committed to restoring these funding cuts.