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

OPINION: Ten signs that Port Alice has changed

“Right now, our lack of amenities is holding back economic growth in our village”

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Port McNeill council discusses ‘bear aware’ and what you can do to stay safe

Port McNeill’s Conservation Officer Brad Adams gave a presentation about being ‘bear aware’.

Port Hardy RCMP release tips to prevent fraud and theft from vehicles

In many of the incidents reported, “the vehicles that were broken into were unlocked.”

Stranded hikers rescued by helicopter on Mt. Schoen

Campbell River Search and Rescue used hoist operation to rescue trio

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

Island murder victim’s mom expresses outrage over mental fitness decision of the accused

Smith vows to keep fighting until justice served for Descoteau

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Most Read