B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Irene Lanzinger is warning that 500-plus teaching jobs could be lost by the next school year, and students with special needs could be among the most affected.

“Over the years the additional amount provided by the provincial government has not been enough to cover increased costs,” Lanzinger said.

“School boards have increased costs because of negotiated salary increases, increased cost of transportation and hydro, and the obligation to be carbon-neutral ... So they have these increased costs and (they) are not being funded by the government entirely.”

She also said that the estimated cuts would mean less support staff for those who need it most.

“When I talk about less support, I’m talking about ... people like a learning assistance teacher, a special-ed resource teacher, someone who comes in to support a student with special needs.”

Lanzinger said special-needs students include the learning disabled, ESL students or even students that are struggling in general.

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