Sunday, July 26, 2009

12 million dollars in student aid cuts preview a Liberal Back to School welcome

In what seems to be a growing trend of announcements of financial adjustments from the Liberal government of Gordon Campbell, more cuts are apparently ahead for funding in education.

This time around it's to be twelve million dollars in cuts, cancelling a number of funding arrangements including a selection of student aid directives geared for the health education sector. Cutbacks which many will note were not even hinted at being required during the recent election campaign of May.

North Coast NDP MLA Gary Coons added up the costs and outlined his concerns over the budget slashing of 12 million dollars, while the NDP provided details of the changes in a press release, which provided a listing of the programs to be cancelled or reduced.
Included in the affected programs are:

The Permanent Disability Benefits Program
Debt Reduction in Repayment Program
B.C. Loan Reduction for Residential Care Aide and Home Support Worker Program
Nurses Education Bursary
Health Care Bursary
B.C. Early Childhood Educator Loan Assistance Program
Premier's Excellence Award program

The timing of the cutbacks is also of particular concern, considering that many of those students that are returning to studies this September will have most likely factored in the bursaries and aid provisions into their budgeting for the upcoming school year.
Interestingly enough, the cutbacks weren't really discovered until constituents across the province began to contact the opposition members outlining how programs that previously were in place, were no longer available. So far, no official explanation or accounting of what factors were considered in the decision have yet to be provided by Government officials.

Perhaps most worrisome of the bunch of cutbacks that have been discovered, is the focus on cutbacks in health education.
Considering the current troubles of the health care system and the purported focus on improvements to it, the planned reductions seem like a strange way of trying to reach that goal.

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