BCTF strike savings boost B.C.’s Learning Improvement Fund

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 at a meeting of school superintendents and board chairs.

The increase in LIF funding is due to province-wide 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 B.C.’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 said, “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.”