PAN Update – Parents Working Together to Pressure Govt, Parent Resources for Advocacy and More

Parent Advocacy Network Logo | Garibaldi Annex PAC

Groups Unite to Pressure Govt for Public Ed

In cooperation with parent and advocacy groups, Chilliwack DPAC, Comox Valley Families for Public Education, Families Against Cuts to Education, Public Education Network Society, Richmond Schools Stand United, Seismic Safety for BC Schools Committee, South East Kootenay DPAC, Surrey Students Now, PAN recently sent a letter to the Premier demanding that the provincial government increase K-12 public education annual operational funding by 20% to redress all of the current deficiencies and revitalize our education system. Investing in the provision of a high-quality education for all children in this province is the government’s legal obligation and duty and they are not meeting this obligation.

As part of that, we created the Declaration in Defence of Public Education which lists the demand for 20% funding increase plus 13 other demands.

We hope that parents and advocacy groups will use, promote, and share both the letter to the government and our Declaration to help educate and inform regarding the realities in schools. We need to point out the “alternative facts” within the “spin” we hear from our education minister and Liberal MLAs.

Advocacy Groups Stand Together in Response to Budget

PAN, in conjunction with seven other parent and advocacy groups—Chilliwack DPAC, Comox Valley Families for Public Education, Families Against Cuts to Education, Public Education Network Society, Richmond Schools Stand United, Seismic Safety for BC Schools Committee, Surrey Students Now—issued a formal response to Budget 17 on February 28th. We believe the “status quo” budget is not acceptable and that public education continues to be underfunded and eroded.

To reinforce the message that public ed must be made a priority once again, we have begun a social media campaign around our Declaration and our demands for public education. Beginning March 1, each day we will promote one of our demands. See our first day on Twitter and Facebook – we ask for your help to share within your communities and to promote within your networks. We are stronger working together and amplifying each others’ messages.

Event: Poverty Free BC Rally – Mar 4

The BC Poverty Reduction Coalition has teamed up with Raise the Rates, the BC Federation of Labour and many other groups for the Poverty Free BC Rally, to be held Saturday, March 4th 2017, 12-2pm at the Vancouver Public Library, Robson side.

PAN is proud to be a supporter of the rally and will be attending. This is our collective chance to raise our voices together and show candidates in the provincial election that we’ll be voting for politicians that commit to strong social services including public education and a comprehensive poverty reduction plan.

Please join us! Join and share the Facebook page for the rally

Advocacy Initiatives within Tyee Elementary PAC

Have you ever wondered how to Advocate for Public Education within your own school community? How do we make the importance of public education our TOP PRIORITY in the upcoming Provincial election? Have you ever asked, “How do I get this conversation started with fellow parents”?

One Vancouver public school had these same questions two years ago, and so they formed a School Advocacy Committee. They are now sharing important advocacy information with EVERY Vancouver school, by delivering a package to your PAC (which includes a letter to your PAC, resources for your PAC bulletin boards, buttons to share with your school community and some helpful links for connecting with others). Please look for these packages within the next five days as Tyee parents hand deliver these resources to your school.

The time is ticking down to the upcoming Provincial election, and we believe that by sharing resources and materials from one school PAC to another, Public Education remains part of mainstream discussion within your PAC and at future PAC meetings.

Event: How School Funding Matters – Mar 8

The Institute for Public Education BC will be presenting “How School Funding Matters” on Wednesday March 8, 7pm at SFU downtown. The event is open to all and will feature a number of speakers on public education and funding in BC.

Save the date and plan to attend. Connect with them on Facebook or Twitter to stay informed.

Advocacy Videos: Messaging Moments to Share

Your Education Matters has presented televised discussions of BC education since 2007. YEM is a community outreach project of the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University funded by donations from BC organizations and individuals and by in-kind support from SFU. The initiative is led by Paul Shaker, PhD.

Their new series on the broader perspective of public education and school funding in BC began Feb. 9 and videos are released each week on Mondays. Discussions and statements have been made by parent members of PAN and other advocacy groups such as Richmond Schools Stand United, Surrey Students Now, the Public Education Network Society, the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, etc.

These are short and loaded with facts to help you navigate the “spin” of government rhetoric and misinformation.Have a look and share!

Parent Resources from Advocacy Works Event

Recently members of PAN and parents from around BC attended the BCTF hosted event Advocacy Works. It was a great opportunity to connect with parents across BC who are advocating locally and provincially and pressuring the government to make public ed a priority. Two key pieces of information to share:

  • Education Underfunding: How Does It Add Up? A presentation by Alex Hemingway, CCPA-BC Public Finance Analyst and Dr. Sherri Brown, BCTF Senior Researcher. This is filled with facts and busts the myths the government continues to spin. A must read. PDF of the presentation is attached.
  • Plenary session with parent advocates from across BC –  Sarah MillerKim NowitskyAndrea Sinclair, and Sheri Walsh – discussing Parents’ Creative Advocacy for Public Education. A must listen – On YouTube

BCCPAC All-Party Forum on Education – April 4

In the lead-up to the May 9 election, the BCCPAC will be hosting an All-Party Forum on Education April 4, at 7pm in the James Cowan Theatre in Burnaby. IF you belong to a PAC who is a member of BCCPAC (PACs pay to be so), then you can attend on behalf of your PAC.

The 90-minute forum will be solely focused on Education and it will be an opportunity for BCCPAC members to hear about educational platforms and strategies directly from representatives of the three main political parties: the BC Green Party, the BC Liberal Party and the BC New Democratic Party.

Registration will be limited and will be open to BCCPAC members – details should be available in the coming weeks. They will also be live streaming and/or taping the event for BCCPAC members who are not able to attend.

Vancouver DPAC: Save the Date – April 25

We know Public Education is as a key issue in the upcoming election. Mark your calendars now for Tuesday April 25th for Vancouver DPAC’s all-party discussion. It will be open to all parents and held in Rm 180 at the VSB offices on West Broadway starting at 6:30pm. Education Reporter Tracy Sherlock will be moderating the discussion among MLA’s and candidates. Connect with them on Twitter  to stay informed.

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