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Several rallies to protest cuts to BC education to be held this weekend

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The battle over funding in BC public schools is about to begin again.  Thousands of people are expected to take part in a major rally this weekend and organizers are hoping it will become a province-wide day of action.

There are other rallies planned for Sunday around BC, including in Victoria, Nanaimo and Kelowna.

Jennifer Stewart is with the group Fix BC Ed, the organizers behind the Vancouver event.  And she’s concerned about cuts to public education over the last 15 years, including what she calls the latest round in February.

“The legislative budget committee had recommended raising funds to an adequate level to cover increasing fixed costs, and that didn’t happen, and in fact, a cut was mandated.”

Stewart insists school boards have worked to create efficiencies, and there simply isn’t anything more to cut.  “I think that it’s time for the province to own the fact that they are the funders here, and their funding model is not sufficient,” she says.

Stewart argues schools are community hubs, that can’t be viewed as factories.  She says once the land at a school is given up, the playground is too, which she says then removes a part of the community.

Vancouver’s rally is happening at 12 p.m. on Sunday at the Art Gallery downtown.