Occasional Paper Series

Occassional Paper #6     June 2022

Beyond Resistance to Privatization: Rebuilding and Reclaiming Public Education 

“As schools look toward post-pandemic recovery, teacher unions and researchers are at a crucial junction in the defense
of public education. Schools are key public spaces of collective learning and community care for children and youth. Privatization, in contrast, privileges individual and financial interests and undermines education as a public good.”

IPE/BC Fellow and BCTF Director of Information, Research and International Solidarity, Andrée Gacoin, reports on a think tank that focused on privatization  in public education and concluded that, beyond building awareness, what is needed is a clear articulation of what public education is for and why it is important.

Occassional Paper #5      June 2022

COLA-lite: Ready’s Inflation Adjustment for Sea-to-Sky Bus Drivers

BC’s public sector unions are currently locked in negotiations with the province over new collective agreements covering much of BC’s public sector. A key area of contention across several tables – in health care, education, and the provincial public service – is the rising level of price inflation overtaking the provincial economy.   Researcher and IPE/BC Board member John Malcolmson reports on the impact of inflation and the need to adequately address the compensation of public sector workers.

Occasional Paper #4    April  2022 

Inflation, Bargaining and the Impact of Restrictive Mandates

Contract negotiations for public school teachers and support staff are underway with the backdrop of years of mandate-restricted bargaining and a current period of mounting inflation. What has been the impact of these restrictions on the salaries and wages of those working in BC’s public schools and on the dollars dedicated to public education in BC?  Why has BC’s spending on education as a percentage of GDP slid from 2.8% in 2001 to 1.7% in 2021?  Researcher and IPE/BC Board member, John Malcolmson, throughly examines these very timely questions in Occassional Paper #4.

Occasional Paper #3     August  2021 

COVID Crisis Impacting Board of Education Budgets

This paper examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Board of Education budgets in BC, specifically detailing the loss of revenue from the international student fees.  Implemented by the previous Liberal government and continued by the NDP, the practice of recruiting fee-paying international students to BC’s K-12 public schools to address funding gaps has been adopted by many school boards despite the dangers of relying on unstable funding. Researcher and IPE/BC Director John Malcolmson has examined the 2021/22 school district budgets, adopted by boards in June, and analyzed the significant impact of the loss of this revenue, overall and on a district-by-district basis.

 

Occasional Paper #2          February 2020

Education Funding Models in Canada: Patterns of Similarity and Details of Difference

This technical report summarizes how education funding is structured and distributed in each of the Canadian provinces. Political and social factors influencing public education and how it is funded include neo-liberal ideology, competition with other public services, and the impact of public school advocates. Education is the responsibility of provinces in Canada and the details of how funding is distributed vary according to province. However, there are some common questions and increasingly common patterns in the funding models. Equity is a central intention built into Canadian funding models, although the approaches are subject to contestation. Funding decisions have been increasingly centralized in provincial governments and away from school boards, with boards being eliminated in some provinces. Property taxes are becoming a decreasing source of funding, with provincial revenue from other taxation making up a greater proportion.

Occasional Paper #1      June 2018

The Many Faces of Privatization

Public funding for private schools may be the most obvious way public education in British Columbia is being privatized, but there are other less obvious privatizing strategies at work. This is a working paper for an IPE/BC workshop that offers analysis of 1) the common narratives that legitimize and promote privatization thus drawing the public into a manufactured consent of privatization and 2) specific contexts in which this privatization in manifest, such as personalized learning (especially with technology), choice programs, school fees and fund raising, business principles of school administration, corporate sponsorships, fee paying international student enrollment, and publicly funded private schools.