High-quality education should be a priority

Quality, well-funded education should be a priority in British Columbia.

Dear editor,

Providing public education of the highest quality is the responsibility of the Government of B.C. To do so, government depends on the BCTF, which represents the teachers employed by the government. For the most part, these two entities work closely together on a day-to-day basis, providing (historically) some of the best public education in the world. So why the strike?

Because over the past 12 years, public education and the teaching profession in B.C. have both suffered financial losses. At the same time, both have become more complex and demanding as student-centred (learning-centred) supports and conditions disappear. Parents and other members of the public may think a strike is the worst thing that could happen to education; in fact, the worst thing is chronic underfunding. Teachers are on strike because every other avenue to end the chronic underfunding has failed. If we do not take this stand, those losses will continue and, most likely, increase.

B.C. teachers have been patient with government. We have even trusted them, signing short-term contracts, in the hopes of larger gains in the future. Those gains were rarely granted, and if they were, were not funded. Our resolve to hold government accountable to B.C. children and their teachers is strong. It is also painful and expensive. Although the courts have twice ruled that the government’s stripping of learning conditions was illegal, the government is stalling any restorative action by appealing what the law has declared.

That these court cases were even necessary is shameful. And they continue to be costly: the BCTF has spent a large portion of its teachers’ union dues; the government, on the other hand, continues to spend your tax money (and mine) to hire lawyers to argue against appropriately funding education, preferring to give money to the courts instead of classrooms. 

How can B.C., let alone your child, continue or begin to prosper when high-quality public education is not a priority in our province? Our government collects more school taxes on more properties with higher values than ever before — so why is public education considered a burden (as the government so often declares public education to be) instead of a hallmark of good governance? Our children’s education is one of the best investments our government and families can make. It is the only way our province, and our children and their future families, will prosper in the future.

Currently, teachers are sacrificing their family incomes for this fight; that’s how dire we see the situation in B.C. schools.

What are you doing?

Heather Johnson

Port Alice

 

Just Posted

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Port Hardy Fire Rescue’s third quarterly report of 2018

PHFR had 13 practice nights and 11 other training events this quarter.

Port McNeill mayor and council sworn in to office

Port McNeill’s new mayor and council were officially sworn in to office… Continue reading

Vancouver Island brewery re-brands again after cryptic new logo failed

Victoria-based brewers said goodbye to confusing hexagon logo

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Surging Rangers beat visiting Canucks 2-1

Goalie Lundqvist ties Plante on all-time wins list

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Most Read