Could all the references to local Board “flexibility to meet local needs” in reports supporting Profile Funding [prevalence] be the same offload onto Boards to bear the brunt of stakeholder frustration that we’ve experienced in an ongoing and increasingly untenable way since 2002, when the real problem is there is not enough funding to meet the needs of intensifying diversity and associated needs for support in every school and classroom?
Funding Model Review: Working Group updates to trustees from BCSTA President, April 4
These notes are hidden from public view behind a members only page on the BCSTA website. (A motion is coming forward from SD36 Surrey to the BCSTA AGM asking for disclosure of working group minutes. ) Posting here in the public interest. You’re paying for public education in every BC school district (as well as a portion of private school funding, but that’s another post) and each District’s membership in the BCSTA, as well as the salaries of Trustees whom you elected to School Boards, staffs of school districts, Ministry elected officials and Ministry staff. How could it be inappropriate for you, the public, to have this information? If you are a parent of kids in te bC public school system, this funding review affects you . (Ministry-appointed Chairs of Working Groups here. )
- Overview: The Ministry of Education’s working groups for the Funding Model Review began meeting on Tuesday March 5 in Victoria BC. Future meetings of all the working groups are slated to continue through to the middle of July. During the first meetings of all the working groups the terms of reference for each group were reviewed and agreed to and each working group consists of many educational stakeholders, some more familiar with the current funding model than others. At these initial meetings the current formula was reviewed to give all the stakeholders at each table an equal understanding of the current formula.
- BCSTA’s most recent letter to the Ministry, sent on March 19 of this year, can read here. [See below] We would also like to remind boards who have not done so already to send the submissions to Ministry of Education and to copy BCSTA when doing so. To date, we have received 14 submissions, which can be viewed on the HUB. These submissions have also been shared in BCSTA’s Weekly newsletter. If you have sent a submission in but did not cc BCSTA, please ensure we receive a copy of the submissions as they are key to helping us form our own advocacy positions on the recommendations. [SD61 did not send in recommendations during this last round of request for input.]
- If you [Trustees] would like more detailed information regarding the working groups, including the agendas, terms of reference and meeting minutes, they can be accessed on the HUB from the main page under the “Quick Access” section of the home page. You can also access the page by clicking here. [Password protected.] We will continue to update this space as content is made available, so please check back regularly for updates as not all working groups items are available at the time of this update.[As per BCSTA motion 24 from Surrey, this should all be public information.]
- You will find notes from the first round of meetings below this message. They are intended to provide you with additional context on what was discussed in April and where future discussions are headed.
Initial Meeting Notes:
- Financial Working Group – Mike Murray, Director Assigned
- One critical recommendation for BCSTA is #18 which reflects many previous BCSTA resolutions. Recommendation 18 wording follows:“The Ministry should identify net cost pressures and new program expenditures and, as part of the annual provincial budgeting process, bring them forward to Treasury Board for consideration when the total quantum of public education funding is being set.”
- Background material derived from the Financial Health working group of 2017 were distributed and discussed as background to further inform the FWG implementation recommendations.
- The working group members requested all of the background information that led to the recommendations being made by the panel to allow for further research that the group felt would be helpful moving forward.
- The initial terms of reference limited the group’s work to recommendations 18-20.
- The group members have asked for the opportunity to follow up on recommendations 9, 21 and 22, (9 especially since page 25 of the panel report noted there was no consensus from stakeholders on per student vs per course funding for grades 10 – 12).
- Subsequent communications with the Ministry of Education have suggested recommendation 9 will not be added to the FWG agenda. The Ministry has suggested that further discussions of recommendation 9 may be scheduled with BCSTA in an alternative format.
2. Adult Education Working Group – Valerie Adrian, Director Assigned
- The group will be looking at adult and continuing education with a view to think “outside the box” and consider other impacts. For example, with the new BC Tripartite Education Agreement (http://www.fnesc.ca/bctea/) we must recognize that any changes to the funding model will directly impact the funding of status Indigenous students and First Nations Schools.
- A number of issues were raised throughout our meeting that will require further information and/or data. Those details will be provided at the next meeting.
- The focus of our group is recommendation 11 “Notwithstanding recommendation 9, funding for the following program should remain course based: Graduated Adults; Non-graduated adults; Continuing education (adult and school-aged learners); Distributed learning (for adult learners only).” We will have discussions on recommendations that may impact adult education such as Distributed Learning.
3. Inclusion Working Group – Stephanie Higginson and Donna Sargent, Directors Assigned
- The working group had several questions regarding what a prevalence model would look like and the implementation of recommendation 6. They were provided with the opportunity to ensure that all their questions would be addressed throughout the meetings of the working group.
- There was discussion on the scope of the working group being able to make recommendations beyond what is in the panel report. The co-chairs confirmed the scope of the working group is to provide advice on: a) How to implement the recommendations. [ Not “whether to…] b) What the implications are of implementing the recommendations. c) Any mitigation strategies.
Online Learning Working Group – Carolyn Broady, Director Assigned
- Two Key points from the Online Learning Working Group Meeting follow: 1: The focus will be on students taking some bricks and mortar and some DL (either in home district or in another district) and modelling what that will look like under various scenarios. 2. Ensure equity and rigor in all DL programming. The next meeting will take place before the end of April.
Summary: We look forward to the upcoming meetings and will supply members with additional information as it becomes available. Remember to check the HUB’s Funding Model Review page for updates as we continue to add documents as they become available to us, and to copy BCSTA on your submissions to the Ministry of Education.
Gordon Swan President British Columbia School Trustees Association
Letters to the Minister
British Columbia School Trustees Association : Apparently the prevalence model is ok with the BCSTA. Nothing mentioned directly about it, except approving of “flexibility”, which I am taking as code for “prevalence funding ” in funding model discussions.
Nanaimo-Ladysmith SD68 : Additional funding is essential. Reporting that staff like the prevalence model (Recommendation 6).
Nanaimo District Teachers Association: Prevalence model (Recommendation 6 “particularly problematic”) does not fund the actual needs of students. Deeply concerned with underfunding (final paragraph).
Boundary School District SD51 (11 schools): Some concerns with Recommendation 6 (prevalence model).
Sea to Sky SD48 : Apparenlty supports prevalence.
Delta School District 37:Concerns with prevalence and potential change to funding; need more information.
Vancouver School District 39: Concerns with prevalence model and proposed methods for funding student s with special needs.