4. Education

Properly Fund Public Schools

4.1 COPE will advocate for sufficient funding to allow smaller class sizes at both the elementary and secondary level. COPE will advocate that the provincial government restore sufficient local bargaining to allow school board to negotiate directly with the teachers’ unions to establish appropriate, flexible, and meaningful class size and composition limits for Vancouver students.

4.1.1 COPE will work with the BC Federation of Teachers and Canadian Union of Public Employees to ensure that the 2014 Supreme Court ruling that Bill 22 is unconstitutional be effectively implemented in Vancouver. The Supreme Court of Canada ruling means the BC Government must appropriately fund public education and work to reduce class sizes and increase specialist teacher ratios. 

4.2 COPE will advocate eliminate public funding for elite private schools.

4.3 COPE will not be complicit or co-operate in further cuts to the public education system in Vancouver.

 

Students' Environmental Bill of Rights

4.4 COPE will Implement a Students’ Environmental Bill of Rights, which will:

4.4.1 Support youth participation and initiatives in the development of green programs, including a targeted Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Program;

4.4.2 Support the establishment of school gardens where possible;

4.4.3 Establish a VSB Bike Advisory Committee;

4.4.4 Lobby for funding to build/upgrade schools that are green and meet silver/gold LEEDS standards (e.g. passive and solar heating and cooling);

4.4.5 Work closely with Toxic Free Canada to remove toxic paints and cleaning products from schools and to ensure a fragrance and allergy free environment;

4.4.6 Encourage and facilitate the use of alternative methods of transportation by staff, parents and students; and

4.4.7 Recognize and act to reduce the disproportionate effects of environmental degradation on vulnerable communities including, but not limited to, black and indigenous peoples.

 

Facilities for Neighbourhood Schools

4.5 COPE will strengthen school facilities by developing a district approach to protect and improve neighbourhood schools, including daycare/after school care space, gyms and activity rooms that meet the needs of the school community, and will lobby for school playground funding to remove and replace unsafe playground equipment (i.e. securing and boosting the Annual Facility Grant).

 

Seismic Upgrades

4.6 COPE will pressure the provincial government to address the need for earthquake amelioration of schools, especially those with construction that is known to be a hazard.

4.6.1 COPE calls for the seismic upgrades in Vancouver given that it has some of the province’s oldest schools; and that seismic upgrades not be tied to the education budget. 

 

Consultation with Parents, Stakeholders, and Communities

4.7 COPE will adhere to an open, honest and transparent process of consultation. This will be achieved by actively listening to and gaining an understanding, of what is important to our stakeholders.

4.8 COPE will reach out to the communities it represents by rotating board meetings in the communities/neighbourhoods that it serves.

4.9 COPE will continue to advocate for public education by promoting and advancing engagement with parents (including through the use of Parent Advisory Committees), unions, employee groups, and the broader community.

 

Food Security

4.10 COPE, in consultation with the Vancouver Food Policy Council, will develop policies that ensure that foods served in Vancouver Schools are healthy.

 

Support New Teachers

4.11 COPE will see the classroom and services to the classroom as its first priority, and will aim to support new teachers through BC Federation of Teachers’ professional development mentoring programs.

 

Inclusive Schools

4.12 COPE will foster education policies that promote inclusive, accepting, and safe school environments for all students.

 

Rebuild Carleton School

4.13 COPE calls for the rebuilding of Carleton School.

 

Support Indigenous Students

4.14 COPE calls for the creation of an Aboriginal focused high school.

4.15 COPE will work to close the racialized achievement gap by creating an Indigenous high school that will focus on academic excellence to ensure students receive supports to graduate to post-secondary studies. 

 

Support Adult Learning

4.16 COPE will advocate for ongoing support to increase eligible courses for Graduated Adult Funding and increase Adult Education programs including accessible school sites. 

4.17 COPE will increase eligible courses for Graduated Adult Funding & increase Adult Education programs, including accessible school sites.

 

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