VICTORIA - The B.C. government is doubling the Learning Improvement Fund (LIF) from $30 million to $60 million for the coming school year, Education Minister George Abbott announced today at a meeting of school superintendents and board chairs.
The increase in LIF funding is due to provincewide operational savings of $37 million resulting from last month's three-day teachers' strike. All of the strike savings will remain with school districts with $30 million being applied to LIF, and the remaining $7 million to be used by school boards for educational priorities in their respective districts.
The first $60 million in LIF funding will be allocated this fall to school districts to be used for classrooms with the highest need. Another $60 million was allocated in 2013-14, and $75 million in 2014-15 and each year thereafter as part of Budget 2012.
As announced last week by Abbott at Student Voice, a meeting of leadership students from throughout the province, B.C school districts are also being provided with $10.7 million in one-time funding to support elements of BC's Education Plan in the classroom. This money is ear-marked to support struggling readers in the K-12 grades.
George Abbott, Minister of Education -
"Investing $30 million in savings from the strike into the Learning Improvement Fund will provide school districts with additional resources to support students and to help teachers address the needs of their students."
"I hope that the parties will work with Dr. Charles Jago to move forward through the mediation process and reach a negotiated agreement so that we can continue to improve our education system and provide students with the best education possible."
- The Learning Improvement Fund (LIF) has been increased by $30 million from $165 million to $195 million over three years.
School districts will be able to use LIF funds to:
- Hire additional teachers and special education assistants.
- Provide additional teaching time.
- Support professional development and training to help teachers meet complex needs in their classrooms.
- Decisions on how to best use these additional resources will involve consultations with the union, classroom teachers, and district and school staff.
- The Learning Improvement Fund is in addition to the more than $850 million per year that government provides for special needs students.
About BC's Education Plan:
Introduced last fall, BC's Education Plan is a blueprint to transform education so every student can excel and thrive in a rapidly changing world. The plan has five key elements: personalized learning for every student; quality teaching and learning; more flexibility and choice; high standards; and learning empowered by technology. It focuses on maintaining basic core skills for students while developing key competencies such as critical thinking, insight and teamwork.
Under BC's Education Plan, government is committed to building an education system that is more flexible, dynamic and adaptable and better prepares students for a successful future, while still remaining focused on the importance of strong foundational skills.
BC's Education Plan: WWW.BCEDPLAN.CA