Public School an Endangered Species?

April 18, 2010
By Crunchy Carpets

According Patti Bacchus, absolutely…especially with harsh budget cuts and carbon payouts on top of low enrolment in Vancouver and too high enrolment in Surrey…school boards across BC are feeling extremely threatened.

Our schools may survive, but the quality of the education suffers more and more each year.

And now the VSB is blaming the Government and the Government is blaming the VSB claiming that they must then obviously need help in budgeting and the sniping is going back and forth and back and forth.

My inbox has been FILLED with information from my PAC about protests, letter campaigns and so on….I have never before seen such pressure from the Board to focus our complaints towards the Ministry of Education instead of the Boards themselves.

I don’t know if there is anyone to ‘blame’ for shortfalls and budget problems.  But what I do know is that our schools are suffering.

Education isn’t what it used to be.  Schools are faced with many problems.  From kids with learning issues, to kids with emotional issues, language and cultural issues, poverty, the list is endless.

Paying for those resources, on top of maintaining regular staffing, administration, crumbling buildings, under crowding and over crowding, is making schools struggle more and more every year with whatever budgets they are dealt.

Adding asinine rules about all public sector areas going ‘carbon neutral’ and forcing schools to pay carbon taxes  while they struggle to upgrade their infrastructure is just insane and really makes me wonder what sort of total lack of respect or care our Provincial Government has for our education system.

Our schools should not be in the same category as say, ICBC.

We are still waiting for all the seismic upgrades to our old school buildings that was promised.  Should carbon neurality perhaps come from funding to upgrade the buildings?

Should this not be the governments responsibility instead of the school boards?

I am all for the environment, but not at the cost of my librarian or music program.  Not at the cost of delayed upgrades to unsafe buildings.  Not at the cost of making sure there are good and safe places for all kids in BC to get the education they deserve.

When you add HST to all the outside services that schools use to their already overburdened budgets, I can’t imagine where you could fairly cut.

The Minister of Education states that she feels the boards could make many cuts in the administrative levels….and that is probably correct….but that too affects how schools are managed.  Most schools run on very small staffs and I don’t think many  boards run with being terribly over staffed these days.

So do we really care who is to blame if anyone?  Is not the quality of our children’s education the key issue here?  Our kids deserve it.  The province needs it.

If we want to stay competitive in the world markets…we need to be producing bright well rounded kids.   That means not just dealing with the basics, but ensuring arts, music, sports are made available to all children.

We have to remember that for some kids, school is the one place they get a chance at engaging in activities that are out of reach financially for their families.

We also need to make sure all the children who need help….those with social issues, learning disabilities and so on…they can’t be allowed to slip through the cracks.

We need to focus on the families who need help with their kids.

I get taxed a lot.  I would like my taxes to go to issues that are important to me.  And not just because I have children.   These cuts mean less jobs for all the now over qualified people out there.

Less people working.  Less people earning money.  More people leaving this province.

We need to  be creating jobs and I can’t see how going carbon neutral and slamming us with the HST is going to do that.

We already have the reputation of being a ‘cheap’ city in the private sector, and now in the public too.  How is the HST going to help encourage employers to raise the wages, especially when BC has the lowest minimum wage in Canada.

This province needs to work harder at growing future talent and keeping it here.










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