Chapter Five: Resources for Education
Questions of taxation, federal and provincial budgets, and formula funding seem far removed from the world of the classroom teacher. Yet teachers are only too aware of the impact of resources on their work. The extra couple of students in the class, the absence of a teacher’s aide, the lack of a music teacher in the school, the lack of course options resulting from fewer teachers, inadequate science equipment or library collections – all of these have direct effects on everyday teaching and learning. Without knowing how the overall financing system works, teachers remain in the dark about how and why decisions are made, and how they might be influenced or altered.
Teachers see the need for more money and resources for schools because they see how these things could make their work more effective. It is important for teachers to explain to parents (and the public) why spending on education matters to students. As Canadian schools continue to face real budget pressures, in addition to pressing for more funds, educators have to give careful thought to how resources can be used most effectively. Every teacher has the potential to change the use of resources in ways that are not only efficient but also educationally sound.