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According to Mark Thompson, a professor emeritus at UBC’s Sauder School of Business, the truth about education funding can be hard to sort out from the rhetoric on both sides of the debate.
But he pointed out that many school boards across the province, comprising trustees from all points on the political spectrum, are reporting budget shortfalls beyond the administrative cuts the province is asking for. Vancouver, for example, is short $14.77 million, while Richmond must find $4 million and Chilliwack is down $2.7 million.
“That ought to be a signal,” Thompson said. “If they’re all saying it’s not enough … that tells me that there’s something wrong.”
He added that it’s impossible to make administrative cuts that don’t impact classrooms.
“If you pay less, you get less,” he said. “A lot of those things they do in the central office support the classroom. They have people who test students for special needs assessments, and they’re in the central office …. If you cut back on them, that affects the classroom directly.”