Dear Premier Clark and Mininister of Education, Peter Fassbender;
I am very disappointed about Mr. Ready’s departure from the “Framework” for negotiations, late yesterday.
I am saddened to hear that although the public school teachers, BCTF bargaining team have this weekend made significant financial concessions; yet, the government refuses to budge from their required clause concerning court rulings on class size and composition.
Twice now, the B.C. government has been found to have violated Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms in B.C. Supreme Court regarding these provincial educational matters.
As we all know, funding of public education for our future literate and discerning population and for leaders of a well functioning province, is paramount to all B.C. Those in charge of public education have a duty to servicing all students of the families in this province.
I just recently attended the graduation ceremony of Grade 12 students of Sardis Secondary, last June 2014. Many well respected guest speakers outlined the challenges around best preparing all our youngsters for a lifetime ahead; a future that will encompass so many great changes for them to meet.
My grandson was in that graduating group. He has spent the last 12 years in this education system that has been underfunded.
I have taught in this public school system as well as living and teaching in Ontario for a few years, during this 12 year span. I have come to believe that it is public knowledge; that provinces which invest in their children’s education thereby deliver better quality of life for their whole populations. Better educated populations tend to build stronger communities, exponentially.
Our family has engaged in supporting a number of students during this difficult 12 year period, on our own, to ensure their success. Many people in this province cannot afford to do that, even although they continue to pay their taxes. Public education must not continue to suffer from lack of attention to class size and support for student needs to learn, as two court decisions have already ruled.
I would call on Premier Clark and Minister Fassbender to address the class size and composition concern as soon as possible. I also protest against any further public tax money from hard working B.C. families to be used once again to attempt to reverse two previous court decisions. Instead, I encourage your government’s thoughtful investment in the education and futures of all B.C. public students.
Retired Public Schoolteacher,