With the start of the school year delayed past Sept. 2, the B.C. government has opened registration for parents of public school children under the age of 13 who want to claim their strike support payments.
- No school year start Tuesday, no end to teachers' strike in sight
- Striking B.C. teachers go online to offer daycare
B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong announced the Temporary Education Support program in July, promising parents or primary caregivers of each public school student 12 years old or younger $40 a day if the provincial teachers' strike was not over by the start of classes in September.
Following the failure of talks between the B.C. Teachers' Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers' Association — which ended with the departure of mediator Vince Ready on Saturday — the B.C. government announced the launch of the online registration page.
Find it here:
Parents and primary caregivers who are eligible to receive the support funds can use the money however they see fit, de Jong said.
The government said in July it would aim to pay out the money quickly, possibly in early October. On Sunday, a ministry spokesperson clarified the funds would be paid out within 30 days after the strike comes to an end.
The government deemed students older than 13 ineligible for the payments because the province considers they are more able to access online or other educational resources and do not need as much supervision as younger children.
The government estimated that the program will cost the government about $12 million a day, which it said was roughly the same amount of money it costs to run the school system.
B.C.'s 41,000 teachers have been on a full strike since June 17. The government also imposed a lockout during a partial strike by teachers earlier in June. The main issues in the contract dispute include wages, class sizes and composition.