VANCOUVER – The B.C. Liberals’ April 1 hydro rate hike to school boards amounts to another download of costs and cuts to education services, say the New Democrats.
“B.C. families need a break, but all they get from the B.C. Liberals is more fee hikes,” said New Democrat spokesperson on B.C. Hydro Adrian Dix.
“Premier Clark likes to talk about the ‘low hanging fruit’ that she thinks school boards can cut, but the reality is they are already reeling from millions in downloaded additional costs like this latest hydro increase. That means school boards have to make cuts to classrooms to address the ongoing funding shortfall from this government,” said New Democrat spokesperson on education Rob Fleming.
According figures from the B.C. School Trustees’ Association, the increase in Hydro rates cost school boards $4,118,000 last year, accumulated $6,877,060 this year, and nearly $30 million over five years.
“Ultimately, our kids will be paying this hydro increase through some form of cut to their education. Parents are paying more, and their kids are getting less. That’s not what British Columbians deserve from their government,” said Dix.
Fleming added that school boards will need to make tough choices based on the problems the Liberals have dumped on their laps. ”Do they close schools in order to keep the lights on at other ones? Or do they compromise quality of programming? That’s a terrible choice the B.C. Liberals are forcing on the people who are responsible for our children’s education.”