Parents, teachers, and British Columbians united over failure of NDP’s return-to-school plan

VICTORIA (September 4, 2020) – The BC Liberals are demanding action after John Horgan has consistently failed to listen to parents and teachers calling for changes to the NDP’s back-to-school plan to ensure the safety of students and educators as well as their families.

“The NDP’s back-to-school plan is failing British Columbians by forcing students back into classrooms without appropriate hybrid and distance learning resources widely available that would help reduce class sizes and make proper physical distancing easier to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Dan Davies, BC Liberal Education Critic. “As a father and former teacher myself, I understand the challenges that families and educators are facing right now. They need greater resources and flexibility to do this safely and properly. Parents want these changes, teachers want these changes, and kids deserve these changes, so why won’t John Horgan take action?”

In recent weeks, the NDP’s plan has faced criticism from parents, educators, and the BC Teachers’ Federation. Earlier this week, the BC Liberals pushed for the allocation of federal funds towards additional health and safety practices in classrooms, such as support for adapted learning spaces, improved air ventilation, increased hand sanitation and hygiene, and purchases of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies. With similar concerns and solutions to the challenges facing schools, the BC Liberals are supporting the BC Teachers’ Federation’s demands for action from the government.

“British Columbians deserve a plan that works to reduce in-person class sizes and school density and increase safety with stronger mask regulations for when physical distancing isn’t possible,” added Davies. “With the return to classrooms less than a week away, John Horgan and the NDP have to finally show some leadership on this file and help ensure that our classrooms are safe for both students and teachers. Anything less will be seen as an abject failure to respect parents, teachers, and students.”

In mid-August, the BC Liberals began calls for immediate action on creating a viable province-wide framework for distance learning options, ensuring that children with immune-compromised students and those diverse learning needs are respected, and ensuring that every child who requires an electronic device for learning can be provided with access to one.

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