Westside-Kelowna NDP candidate Carole Gordon says her party’s pledge to spend $100 million to improve classroom conditions in B.C. if elected to government will help education here in the Central Okanagan.
“One-thousand new teachers will do a lot to alleviate the pressures in classrooms in B.C. and right here in the Okanagan,” said Carole Gordon, an elementary school teacher who works in Kelowna,
“Everyday teachers struggle to meet the needs of their students. When your class sizes are large, special needs students assistance in a classroom, it becomes a daily struggle for parents and students as well.”
On Thursday, B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix proposed announced the education spending pledge.
“Twelve years of Liberal cuts and confrontation have left us with far too many overcrowded classrooms, hurting learning outcomes for every affected child,” said Dix.
The NDP also announced $60 million to provide more spaces and lower the cost of infant and toddler care. Families with children in licensed care will save an average of $2,000 per year.
Gordon called the money a good start to ensuring parents of good and affordable quality care for their children.
“Lack of affordable infant and toddler care is a major barrier to many women, especially single mothers, returning to the workforce,” said Dix. “Childcare is the second highest family expense after housing, putting financial pressure on middle income households and putting childcare out of reach for lower income parents.”
In addition, an NDP government will create an Early Years Innovation Fund, using the BC Liberals’ poorly conceived education savings contribution scheme.
Dix said that the fund would be aimed at early childhood education and childcare. He said a BC NDP government would work with early learning experts and BC families to ensure program design would maximize early learning outcomes.