KELOWNA, B.C. – The Central Okanagan Board of Education wants money saved on teacher salaries during the strike/lockout at B.C. schools to remain within the public education system.
School District #23’s board held a special meeting Wednesday to endorse the B.C. School Trustees Association’s (BC ‘Back to School Action Plan’, which includes objectives to start the 2014-2015 school year on time.
The monies saved should not be used for any other purpose, states a release from the Board of Education.
Finance Minister Mike de Jong says B.C. parents will get $40 a day to help pay for child care if the strike/lockout disrupts the start of the new school year. The money would be available to parents with children 13 and under in school.
The Board states they are feeling more optimistic that a settlement will be reached following recent news from the Ministry of Education and B.C. Teachers Federation (BCTF).
Additional concepts will be brought to the table, according to the Minister, while the BCTF has indicated they will bring new ideas forward, says the release issued by Chairperson Moyra Baxter.
Baxter urges the parties to reopen negotiations, adding “It is unthinkable that the strike/lockout situation will continue into September. Our students need to be back in school where they belong.”
“We believe their parents value the education system and want their children in school to learn and grow, not just to be “baby-sat”.”
The Board says parents don’t need to struggle to find safe, licensed child-care spaces to accommodate a dispute past the end of August, stating the pressure is unnecessary.
A special board meeting was called ahead of the BCTF and B.C. Public School Employers’ Association meeting August 8th.