Two week spring break - saving money by cutting teachable hours

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News Editor

Monday, April 8 2013

So we’re going to a two week spring break in 2014, which our  School Board says will save the school district $400,000. The savings of course coming from not having any teachers and only limited support staff working for those two weeks.

This isn’t an uncommon approach to saving money on labour costs within the education system in BC. Surrey went to a two-week spring break in 2009.

The Vancouver School Board settled a contract disagreement with the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers’ Association this past Friday, just in time to continue having a two week spring break. According to reports on the CBC, the Vancouver School board estimates it saves $100,000 a day when schools are closed.

So savings are being found. But these savings are the wrong kind of savings. This is the equivalent of the Vancouver Canucks saying they’re going to save thousands of dollars because they give the coaching staff two weeks off during the regular season.

Education is an expensive proposition, but more and more, we see cuts like these being made as desperate moves by school boards to save money.

Don’t get this wrong. The alternative, starting school an hour later every Wednesday was not a solution that would work for the students or their parents.

All in all, there is definitely something wrong when we are kicking students out of class to save money.