Dear RCOA Families,
In a meeting yesterday, May 4th, we learned from the Ministry of Education of a 21% cut to Independent Distributed Learning (DL) Schools’ funding effective July 1st, 2020.
We do not have many details at this time, but we are committed to keeping you informed.
Here are some things we do know:
- This cut in funding does not affect Special Education funding.
- This cut in funding does not impact public DL schools, nor does it impact public or independent campus schools.
- The Ministry shared that this decision was not COVID-19 related.
- This cut will bring us into alignment with how independent campus schools are funded at 50% of public campus schools. Now we, Independent DL Schools, will receive 50% of the amount granted to public DL schools instead of the 63% previously granted.
- We can be grateful to the Ministry of Education for not removing all of our funding.
- This is God’s school. That has not changed.
- We believe in the value of home education. That has not changed.
- We feel privileged to walk alongside you in the educating of your children. That has not changed.
- We have the freedom to continue to educate our children according to our beliefs and values. That has not changed.
Due to the sudden nature of this funding cut announcement and our need to consider how best to move forward, we are placing a hold on spending of Ministry funds (PO) at this time. We know that this inconveniences some of you. This is one reason we are disappointed with the timing of the announcement. Thank you for your grace as we do our very best to provide you answers.
Invitation to Community Conversations
Our administration team is hosting Zoom sessions during the week of May 11th. We would love to connect with you and we will send out details on Friday.
It can be easy to feel discouraged and like we don’t have a voice. However, we live in a country where we have the freedom to express our values and to influence political decisions. If you are uncomfortable with this decision from the Ministry of Education, we encourage you to reach out to your MLA.
Find your local MLA here: https://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/members .
Key Points to Consider Including in Your Letter:
- Independent Online school funding has been significantly reduced (21%).
- This announcement comes with little warning. The decision to reduce funding is effective July 1st of this year.
- A reduction in funding will significantly impact the day-to-day operations of Independent DL schools.
- Independent DL schools have a higher proportion of vulnerable students. This cut heavily impacts vulnerable students.
- This announcement comes at a time of economic hardship for all and will further reduce options for parents regarding educational choice for their children.
- The announcement comes at a time when home-based learning should be valued, celebrated, and supported.
- Our population is largely single-income families and a cut in funding will have a significant financial impact.
- Be respectful (exhibit Christ-like character)
- Be personal (share how this will impact your family)
- Be specific (outline what you hope will happen)
- Individualize your letter (form letters are not read)
- Request a response
The B.C. Wildlife Federation has created a document that outlines helpful guidelines for writing to your MLA. You can find it here.
Ultimately, we are grateful that we live in a province where Christian education is supported. We are confident that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. This is His school and I am confident He is going to do great things.