FPSE campaign for developmental educational programs is starting to have an impact

"Holding governments accountable for proper funding of much-needed programs is never easy, but this latest announcement shows our lobby efforts are starting to have an impact," said Cindy Oliver, President of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE). Oliver was referring to a mid-July announcement from the Ministry of Advanced Education that funding for Developmental Education programs would be increased by close to $4 million in the coming months.

"We pulled together our Developmental Education activists about a year ago to draft a lobby strategy that would press the provincial government for better funding of Adult Basic Education programs as part of a more comprehensive strategy to improve access and affordability in our public post-secondary education system," Oliver noted. "That group produced a lobby document that was used in meetings with the Minster, his Deputy and other ministries whose programs supported adult learners," said Oliver. "The announced increase in Developmental Education funding is closely linked to our lobby campaign on this important issue," Oliver added.

"While the government's decision to improve funding in this area is a positive one, we still have a long way to go to ensure that access and affordability concerns are fully addressed," said Oliver. "We have long maintained that adequate funding of the entire provincial post-secondary education system has fallen behind because of chronic under-funding. We need to see an increase of at least $200 million in the Ministry's budget to get per-student funding back to the level it was in 2001 when the BC Liberals first took office," Oliver pointed out. "I'm glad the Minster is starting to recognize the needs that are out there. Certainly, BC's strong fiscal position provides an opportunity to close the funding gap we see in our institutions. Hopefully, with the help of more concerted lobbying on our part, the February 2007 provincial budget will ensure all those needs are met," Oliver concluded.

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for more information contact
Philip Legg
FPSE Communications & Policy
(604) 788-2877
plegg@fpse.ca

About FPSE

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.