Excerpt from the Official Report of
DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

(Hansard)


April 20, 2010

Terms of reference for special advisor to Vancouver School District

S. Simpson: What parents and trustees in British Columbia want is this minister and her ministry to do things differently and fund these shortfalls.

The minister appointed a special adviser in Vancouver, the only place where she chose to do that. She did that, and then she followed it up with disparaging comments about that district, about its board and about its ability to govern.

These terms of reference that the minister laid out all direct themselves towards the board and what the board is or isn't doing. But what those terms of reference do is neglect the question that trustees and parents across this province want answered. They want to know if there's enough money in this system to afford a quality education system for their children.

Will the minister change those terms of reference? Will the minister amend those terms of reference and put the question about the adequacy of provincial funding into the terms of reference?

...

S. Simpson: The $18 million deficit in Vancouver is only one of a litany of deficits. District after district in this province is projecting multi-million-dollar shortfalls in their ability to deliver education in this province. This isn't about Vancouver. It's about every school district in this province and every child in this province.

The terms of reference talk about the board's budget development process, talk about their management capacity and talk about their short- and long-term planning. Those questions could all be asked of this minister and how she runs her ministry.

Will the minister do the right thing, if she's serious? If this minister is serious about getting to the bottom of the challenges in education, will she ask the special adviser, the comptroller general, to do an assessment of whether she's adequately funding education?

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