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This short paper challenges the BC government's rhetoric that education funding is at "record levels", and shows that BC can afford to reinvest in public education. It originally appeared as a post on our Policy Note blog.
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(Vancouver) Contrary to provincial government claims that education funding is at “record levels”, new analysis released today finds that education funding has dropped by 25% since 2001 as a share of BC’s economy (GDP).
If we are as passionate about justice as we are about our ideas, then we need to seriously invest in and support those who are coming into this work. We have to foster new and developing leadership. We need a way to provide people who may not think of themselves as leaders or even as activists, with the right support at the right time, so that they might connect what they care most deeply about with what they are good at and what their communities need, and figure out where to place their energies around those issues for maximum impact.
This issue of Our Schools/Our Selves explores not only surveillance, but the ways in which control is exerted on and through our education system as well as its workers, teachers and students. We also look more closely at the concept of “safety” and how it often is used as a rationale for more surveillance and less privacy.
What are provincial politicians going to do about poorly housed Manitobans? One third of Manitoba renters live in core housing need, meaning they spend over 30 per cent of their income on housing and live in overcrowded and/or unsafe housing conditions. Many do not have housing at all, as demonstrated by the 2015 Street Census that counted at least 1,400 homeless people living in Winnipeg.
Lazy, entitled, apathetic, disengaged, these are just some of the words that are used to mis-categorize and label post-secondary students. The reality of the average Manitoban student strings together a series of part-time jobs, incurs large amounts of student debt to pay for tuition and figuring out how to make their food budget stretch until another pay day. 
Manitobans recognize that universities play a variety of important social roles, well beyond preparing people for successful careers. University research plays a foundational role in advancing our understanding of the world, helps develop solutions to critical social problems, and contributes from the ground up in innovating new processes, materials, and technologies.
In today’s rapidly changing economy, a truly affordable and accessible post-secondary education system needs to be a top priority. The current system, with its high up-front costs and resulting unsustainable levels of student debt, acts as a barrier for many people to full participation in the economy, which impacts everyone. 
The Winter 2016 issue of Our Schools/Our Selves offers a thoughtful and multifaceted collection on the subject of Oral History (the process of recording, preserving, and disseminating our understandings of the past through life narratives), education, political engagement, and youth.