Letter: Chilliwack school trustee blasts government over cuts

So brace yourself people. Brace yourself parents. We’re in for some even more challenging times ahead in our public education system

Shocking.  That best describes the “Honourable” Christy Clark’s comments regarding the budget that her government put forward that directed school districts to cut an additional $29 million in administrative costs for the 2015/16 school year, and an additional $25 million in the 2016/17 school year. Effectively, school boards are being told to cut $29 million in year one and $54 million in year two. Our political “leader” suggests that school districts simply need to pick the “low hanging fruit” to offset these significant budget cuts.

Not only do these comments show tremendous disrespect for our public education system and all those that work within it, but they also demonstrate a blatant disregard for the economic future of our province. The students in our public education system are the future of our province. School districts have already cut their meager budgets to the bone, which has impacted the quality of education our children are receiving, and we’re expected to continue this trend and make it worse. What’s the end game here, Christy?

It would seem that Christy has spent too much time in the orchards of the Okanagan, coming up with this nugget about the “low hanging fruit” in our districts. They’re called people, Christy, in case you weren’t sure. Maybe in your childhood you had dreams of becoming an arborist, and find the “low hanging fruit” reference ironic.  I just find it insulting, callous and completely inappropriate for our “top” provincial politician who is supposed to be setting an example of leadership and respectfulness.

So brace yourself people.  Brace yourself parents. We’re in for some even more challenging times ahead in our public education system. Unfortunately we can’t boycott the “product”, and our screams of displeasure will never be loud enough for Christy & Co to acknowledge, so we’re left with one alternative…the next time Christy puts up her hand and says “pick me”… you know what to do. There’s your low hanging fruit…

Paul McManus

School Trustee