ORT ST. JOHN (September 9, 2020) – With less than 24 hours to go until students are set to return to classrooms across British Columbia, hundreds of parents, teachers, and support staff — still concerned with the NDP government’s lack of planning or consideration for health and safety concerns — tuned into a town hall hosted by BC Liberal Education Critic Dan Davies to express their concerns, anxieties, and frustrations with John Horgan and the NDP’s rollout of their deeply flawed back-to-school plan.
“Parents, teachers, and families are completely fed up with the lack of accountability or compromise that Education Minister Rob Fleming and the NDP have shown,” said Davies. “While other provinces offered detailed and flexible back-to-school plans back in the early summer, the BC NDP government ducked responsibility and downloaded it onto the school districts in late July, which has created massive disparities in available learning resources across British Columbia, and has left it up to immune-compromised students and families to address their own health and safety concerns.”
The town hall heard from parents who have been told that their schools won’t offer hybrid learning because they are too small, teachers who have discovered they will be working in full classrooms of 30 students or more, and parents of children with special needs who have been granted only a two-week window to decide whether to keep their children in or out of school for the remainder of the year. Following the conclusion of the town hall, the BC Liberal Caucus renewed its calls for greater province-wide hybrid and distance-learning options and to restore the $12 million in funding slashed from independent Distributed Learning programs budgets by the NDP in May.
“Despite having his credibility already severely damaged by the NDP exam error cover-up exposed last month, Education Minister Rob Fleming continues to ignore concerns expressed by parents, families and the BC Teachers’ Federation, which has created widespread chaos throughout B.C.’s education system,” added Davies. “The NDP had months to come up with a plan that would provide certainty and flexibility for students, parents, and teachers but instead, they blew it. John Horgan and the NDP have a lot to answer for and our caucus will continue to hold them accountable once the school year begins.”