BURNABY—An Angus Reid survey shows that 75 per cent of B.C. residents believe that public education in the province is strengthened when locally elected school trustees advocate for their school districts and challenge the provincial government.
The poll, commissioned by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), also finds that 85 per cent believe that the provincial government should do more to protect public education, given added costs downloaded onto school districts from the province.
CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill says that it is clear that the public understands that funding is inadequate and wants elected trustees to continue to make the case for strong public schools.
“Families, staff and trustees across B.C. have struggled with school closures and program and service cuts. And they have set that against the provincial government’s claim that funding is adequate. I think they understand who is standing up for their communities.”
“This is a strong message to the Minister of Education to respect the role elected trustees play. The kind of provincial power play we saw when the Minister sent in the Comptroller General to review the books for the Vancouver School District simply doesn’t cut it.”
O’Neill says that given the clear results of the Angus Reid Public Opinion survey, he hopes that the Minister of Education comes prepared to work with trustees and offer real solutions to the funding crisis when she meets with them on October 22.
Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey between October 12 and October 16, 2010. Participants were 804 randomly selected adults residing in British Columbia who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error is +/- 3.46%, 19 times out of 20. Poll results can be downloaded here. Please note: The above numbers from the poll are drawn from a reduced sample taking out people who responded “not sure”.