Budget cuts put successful community literacy programs at risk

As a former educator, I believe that one of the most important things we can do is ensure that we have a fully literate population.

Recently, I sat down with a group of people from across the constituency who are responsible for providing local literacy services through an organization called Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL). Whenever I meet with local service providers, I am so impressed with their level of expertise and their incredible commitment to their work.

As a former educator, I believe that one of the most important things we can do is ensure that we have a fully literate population. And not that many years ago, the BC Liberal government claimed that it had a plan to make British Columbia the best-educated, most literate jurisdiction on the continent

Following the declaration that literacy was a top government priority, $2.5 million of provincial funding was allocated yearly to community literacy programs, and a portion of this money is what CBAL depends on to fund the services it provides. And the list of CBAL’s services, developed using their small portion, is long and varied; services that our communities really can’t afford to live without. If anything, these local programs need more funding, not less.

But the BC Liberal government’s commitment to literacy has been short-lived.  The allocation for government funding of community literacy programs province-wide this year has dropped to only $1 million which will drastically impact the efforts of literacy coordinators and their programs across the province.

In the big scheme of things, $1.5 million is a very small amount, and this cut to literacy funding does very little to address provincial budget shortfalls. But it makes a big difference in our communities. With this loss of funding, we are increasing the risk that our citizens will not reach the literacy standards that they need to succeed, a situation that has societal costs that are much higher than the $1.5 million we will save this year.

Governing is about making tough choices, and we know that there isn’t money for everything. But promoting literacy has to be a priority, not just at a BC Liberal photo-op, but each year when we ensure organizations like CBAL have the funding they need.

MLA Report is written by Norm Macdonald, the MLA for the riding of Columbia River—Revelstoke.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Body of 21-year-old man found in Okanagan Lake

BC Coroners Service is investigting the circumstances of the man’s death

LETTER: Revelstoke does not need proposed Hay Rd. development

The development calls for 60 housing units

Which streets in Revelstoke have the most crashes?

The data was recently released by ICBC

LETTER: Kiss the caribou goodbye

Kiss the caribou goodbye Revelstoke! The $1.1 million funding from the B.C.… Continue reading

EDITORIAL: Improving highway safety

Highway 97 has seen plenty of collisions and accidents over the years

Airlines dispute Dr. Henry’s claim they ‘very rarely’ give accurate COVID contact tracing info

Air Canada, WestJet say they provide names and contact information

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen pays nearly $8 million in wages

Figures included in latest Statement of Financial Information

Democracy costs Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen more than $500,000

Remuneration and expenses paid to chair, directors and alternate directors comes to $542,588

Workplace design: Are you grown up enough to work from home?

Columnist Jules Galloway is the founder/owner of Evolve Design| Build

Kelowna RCMP discover more imitation firearms used in crimes

RCMP say the fake guns can be hard to distinguish from the real ones

Dyer: Replacing dam and solar power

Research indicates Canada could replace 100% of power from dams with solar, using only 13% of the land

Airborne hot dog strikes Greater Victoria pedestrian

Police called to 4200-block of Quadra Street for hot dog incident

Kootnekoff: CEWS expanded and extended

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years

B.C. scientist, 63, protests in trees set to be removed for Trans Mountain pipeline

Tim Takaro is reaching new heights as he tries to stall the pipeline expansion project in New Westminster

Most Read