Item: Vancouver school year shortened 10 days to deal with a budget shortfall.
Item: Between the 2001–02 and 2008–09 school years, 176 public schools in BC have been closed, unprecedented in BC public school history. More schools are due for closure in coming years.
Item: BC Education Minister Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid announced that BC Liberals are planning a new strategy to resolve school funding problems permanently.
MacDiarmid said the plan involved permanent and temporary public school closures and new homeschooling initiatives. Liberals expect that, with the public system sufficiently compromised, growth in private school enrollment will accelerate. Dr. M added the new program was not actually a change in policy, saying, "Under BC Liberals, private schools have had ten years of unbroken growth and this now allows us to begin shutting down the public system, at least for all but the misfits unacceptable to private schools."
In 2011, the academic year in public schools will be reduced to one week, during which children will be bused to regional schools to take standardized reading, writing and math tests and to pay school fees. Summer vacation and spring break will be extended to 51 weeks but parents will be actively encouraged to provide alternative home schooling.
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