Time to take care of my own now, with a look at the most recent news from Surrey school board officials, who have been forced to consider some absolutely ridiculous steps in educating our children – just so they can make the budget work next year.Steps that include longer school days, and even taking classes at home over the internet -all because the government refuses to increase the money given to the Surrey school district, despite the fact we are the only growing district in BC.
Rapidly growing, I might add. In some neighbourhoods, residential developments such as townhouse complexes and mega homes housing three to 4 families have severely overloaded classrooms and teachers -and it’s not about to change anytime soon with the continual influx of new residents.
District funding has not been increased in years, despite all of this evidence that we clearly need more money to provide the current level of services in the city’s schools. My question is, why is that? When other districts have decreased enrollment, why is not some of that money shifted over to districts like ours?
The truth is that this has been an issue for some time, but we are now at a point where clearly, it has become a crisis situation for education in Surrey. Cutting programs in many schools is not an option because of the high ratio of low-income residents in many areas of the city, like Newton and Whalley. Special needs capacity has risen as well, and there has been no additional funds for those children like my son, who are caught in the middle of an economic battle. And people wonder why teachers get so upset at times? I can attest that my son’s teacher had spent much of her own money on things needed for the classroom that the school budget can’t cover. Parents Advisory Councils are covering a lot of things like new equipment, technology upgrades, field trips. Parents pay for the rest where we can.
Now, it is time for the government to put its money where it’s mouth is. Did not Gordon Campbell state often that we have a world-class education system?
Yes, he did. Clearly, it is not true.
Has not the soon to be absent premier often stated that the children are our future, we must safeguard what is theirs? That education and literacy is key to success?
Yes, he did. Again – not!
It has always been my view that education is the key to ensuring the success of future generations. Literacy, after school-programs, music and sports are all important components to a complete education and assist a child to become a well -rounded individual. It is important to achieve a balance in that child’s life – off -time and time to be a kid, or a teen and just let off some steam is vitally important to a childs or youths, mental health. Making children sit longer in class rooms, or relying on home, internet based education that is likely unsupervised, is not going to cut it, and certainly, the children and youth of Surrey have become the innocent pawns of a silly game in government bureaucracy.
I’m asking the Liberal leadership candidates this: What is your priority as a potential leader of this province? Will you step up, and order the rather useless education minister to address this issue? And I am asking not only as a parent and concerned citizen, but as a voter. If Falcon thinks there is enough money to extend skytrain, or pay for private resource roads, certainly there is money to be had for education.
And will we hear from the NDP on this? One would hope so.
I love children, clearly – I have four of my own. One is in university, one is graduating highschool this year and the other two? Well, it will be years before they leave the system. I am there, every step of the way for each of them, because it is the most important job I will ever do in this life. I have seen horrific changes over the years, changes that are evident still, in todays classrooms -see Christy Clark post down below for more on that.
More and more parents are turning to private school as the option,those who can afford the tuition. Our mayor, Dianne Watts has her children in private school. I bet you Christy Clark has her son in a private school too, which speaks volumes to me. And I bet when that little baby Falcon gets old enough, he will go to private school too. Those who can afford to pay have little regard for the public system, having chosen the option they have.
It’s too damn bad they don’t give a hoot about the rest of us.