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School funding cuts prompt emergency public meeting

The Vancouver board of education has called for an emergency publicmeeting tonight to deal with what chair Patti Baccus is calling a“funding crisis.”

The Vancouver board of education has called for an emergency public meeting tonight to deal with what chair Patti Baccus is calling a “funding crisis.”

The meeting, which takes place at the Vancouver School Board (1580 West Broadway) at 7 p.m., will address a number of cuts in funding, including the axed annual facilities grant of $110 million across the province and $10.6 million in Vancouver alone.

The grant covers school building, upgrades and repairs.

“We’re just being hit with all these grant cuts and we are really reeling from this,” said Baccus.

“It’s a brutal way to be starting the school year.”

She added that schools will also be forced to absorb the impact of the new harmonized sales tax, higher MSP premiums and the costs associated with H1N1 flu prevention — soaps, supplies and informational signage — which will likely be upward of $1 million in Vancouver.

On a tour of Victoria High School yesterday, New Democrat Leader Carole James expressed frustration with what she called Premier Gordon Campbell’s broken promise to protect education and health care.

“The Campbell Liberals have shown students aren’t a priority for them,” she said.

 
 
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