One wants to let kids who can barely drive, vote.Another wants to spend public $$ to build private roads… so what the hell happened to education as a priority in this province?

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.

25 thoughts on “One wants to let kids who can barely drive, vote.Another wants to spend public $$ to build private roads… so what the hell happened to education as a priority in this province?

  1. Lynn

    Maybe they should give the kids a vote. The kids know they are getting ripped off, here will be their chance to kick some political butt.
    Kids know their class rooms are over crowded. They know their teachers are struggling, they know programs have been cut or eliminated, they see their school crumbling around them. Ya, you liebral dolts give the 16 year olds the vote. They will run the lot of you out of town.
    Ill even hand the kids my pitch forks too.
    Run! Run hard you lying bastards.

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  2. Jon

    Laila, you hit the nail on the head. Isn’t that the plan of the aristocratic BC Liberals? Keeping the masses uneducated and poor while adding to their wealth off the backs of these very same people. Everything is going according to plan and even better they’re adding more from the middle income bracket to the low income bracket with every disreputable move they make.

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  3. Curt

    An interesting thing last night at my home. A knock on the door and and it turns out it’s a private school looking for school age kids in the neighborhood. How much tax dollars are we giving to private schools anyway? It’s time to fund the Public schools totally, and let the private look after their own.
    Sheesh!!!

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  4. Erik

    The will isn`t there. They ( Right wing Libertarians) don`t care. They don`t want anything public..all privatized ..including education.
    Fascism= Business controls government which then controls the people.
    Socialism= people control government which then controls (regulates) business.

    The Rule of Law is seen by these “people” as red tape. A detriment to business..you always hear about promising to ” cut the red tape”. to assist business in profit efficiency. Besides most of the laws were written by soft pinko lefty “socialists” and need to be gotten out of the way.
    These are serious dark days approaching (in many cases already here).
    If Sinn Fein were to send 3 veteran activists to B.C.
    I would venture you would begin to see serious political change in B.C within a week. I know it.
    Our local freebooters haven`t seen much of opposition that is full on committed.
    But alas..we be not Irish.

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  5. Laila, I hope your new computer kicks ass, because it’s going to have to keep up with you! Welcome back.

    In my school district (Sooke SD62) they charge for bussing. Some students live far away from the public school they are bussed to. PAC’s have to fundraise for textbooks, as well as playgrounds and sports and arts programs.

    Private schools are funded by taxpayers. They should not be. Obviously, if costs need to be cut, then the rich can pay for their own private education. They are breaking the public system, just like they did in New Orleans after Katrina. That clears the way for a for profit model to step in. Everyone loses.

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  6. North Van's Grumps

    If 16 year olds are mature enough to vote, they’re certainly old enough to run for the Office of Premier!
    alongside Christy Clark at 45….AND they’re old enough to pay personal income taxes

    Or as the BC Liberals put it:

    “<a href=People are the most important resource in the modern economy. To meet its economic goals, British Columbia will have to train, attract, and retain workers. There will be challenges in meeting the economy’s need for well trained employees.

    There are 550,000 young people in the K–12 public school system today. Over the next 12 years, the provincial economy is expected to create one million new job openings — a shortfall of 450,000 workers.

    The province is taking a multi-pronged approach to addressing this potential shortfall:…….”.

    Multi-prong?????, is that like Mike de Jong playing the Devil’s advocate card by saying he wants to tap into the 16 year olds, who are still two years away from graduating from Grade 12, so that he can get elected because the older voters ………. won’t vote for the Liberals?

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  7. Norm

    From the big business/wealthy elite perspective of bad ideas that should never have been allowed second only to allowing the masses to vote is free public education.
    If people can read write and think it becomes very difficult to control them, better they be entertained by junk on TV “reality” shows and soap operas. Aldous Huxley in the Brave New World had the process figured out – It is no coincidence that people often confuse Brave New world with 1984 both, books that were accurately forecasting where the power elite wanted the world to go.

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  8. "BillY"

    I value Laila’s contributions as much as anybody. As truly believe that the responsibilities for action arising out of Laila’s belong to we of the public/

    There is however a caveat to be noted in order for us to act.
    We are compelled to first come to the realization(s) of our own power. Not to do so will only continue to give power to the system, a system that I continually to give warnings of.
    By allowing ourselves to go after what ever smelly red herring drawn across our path we have allowed the system to continuously do the bidding of those they have sols out to.

    We do not need worthless eastes of our energies going into equally worthless petitions.

    What I see as required is a Proclamation sealed with or rather stamped with, our yet to be designed seal.
    Doing `something` is a waste of valuable time
    Sending a message has no value when the message I ignored
    We must have a better system of governance in place yesterday!!

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  9. Laila the problem with our schools not being the best in the world is that the promise made it to Gordon Campbells’ mouth. Which of course then became a lie.
    As for the voting age. I have always been of the opinion that id a person is old enough to join the armed forces they are old enough to vote. I heard de Jong say something about them joining at 16. Although I have never followed that discussion, the last time I checked the age was 17 for joining up.
    Old enough to die for your country old enough to vote the idiots out who sent you to your death.

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  10. Donna

    Typical BC Liberal stupidity. Our kids need schools, and education. They can worry about their votes, after they get all of the education, they desire.

    With the lid blown off of, Campbell’s corrupt sale of the BCR…De Jong has a gall to say anything. He did a blatant cover-up of that crime, even thieved tax payer dollars to pay two criminals expenses. That’s one item that will be in future history books, they will learn of, the BC Liberals corruption. All of those involved, should have their assets seized, and should do prison time.

    It’s time the BC Liberals, were thrown right out of our province, never to be seen again. Campbell’s own corruption, has killed this province. Our BC children too hungry to do their school lessons, is the most disgusting disgrace, of the BC Liberals. KIDS COME FIRST.

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  11. North Van's Grumps

    As to why de Jong wants to include the high school students:

    “Bornmann’s political involvement began in high school and continued throughout his university years.” – Wikipedia

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    1. Laila

      The funny thing is that the Young BC Liberals spend time in highschools getting teens interested. I know this for a fact, they went to my daughters highschool before she graduated and several classmates ended up involved. I never heard of any Young Conservatives at the school, nor the NDP, so perhaps this is the Liberal tactic. Get them while they are young and impressionable..lol.

      Kim, my new computer was specifically built to kick some serious Liberal ass, and defend mine !!

      Gary E, good point, but both are decisions that scare the hell out of me. I think we all have something we look back at with regret at that tender age. Maybe not all kids, but I think a majority have little to no life experience to make that choice.
      But then again, think of all the adult voters who regret having voted Liberal last time….lol. Based on that, your point might have merit!!
      Erik, great comment. I agree we are far too compliant, however I am not too sure the Irish would solve much. They seem to have not gotten very far at all, considering recent developments

      Curt, that is unreal. Something has to change.

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  12. First regarding provincial funding to private schools – two points:

    1. My understanding is the amount per child is less than the amount per child in public schools so private school parent taxpayers are subsidizing public schools.
    2. Also since the parents of children in private schools are taxpayers too, so it is seems fair that their taxes go to the school of their choice.

    So rather than waste time and energy on begrudging other parents the right to educate their children the way that they want, and fighting amongst ourselves, let’s focus on the real culprit here which is the misguided priorities of the Liberals. They are spending all of our money, and even borrowing against our children’s heritage money that ought to be designated for education to pay billions for freeways. So instead of giving all our children the best possible future we are giving them a legacy of debt – spending money that isn’t really there to destroy the environment, and pollute the atmosphere by dozens schools for short term economic gain building the Falcon’s folly of a project, the South Fraser Freeway.
    How would our children vote on something like this – well my daughter at age 11 said “Mom they are cutting down the trees, and the trees help us breath. They say they want us to save the environment – they are lying to us aren’t they Mom?”
    My neighbour at age 9 said “I don’t want cancer. I don’t want to die” when she learned about the illness caused by diesel particulate that will come with the trucks the government plans to run on the freeway less than a block from her school.

    These children would not be voting for this Liberal government. They know it is not in their best interests and they can see through the rhetoric (a polite way to say falsehoods) spouted by the Liberals.

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  13. Bernadette–

    I have a few questions for you….

    Are private school gymnasiums and libraries and afterschool programs open to ALL the children of the neighbourhoods they are located in?

    If not, why should everyone in those neighbourhoods subsidize them?

    Put another way, if our tax dollars were suddenly spent on private winter and tennis clubs, but at a lower rate than what we pay to fully fund public recreation centers, would you conclude that the former are subsidizing the latter?

    .

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  14. education rocks

    As a teacher in Surrey for many years, I have witnessed the profound changes that have occurred in my career. The real issues began when Mary Polak, and Heather Stilwell were Surrey school trustees, along with Reggi Balabanov whose apparent idol was Christy Clark. the education minister. There was an impression of non support of teachers that did not dance their dance.

    This was when the first deep cuts began.

    The funding of Private schools began and at that time, the percentage was around 50%, coming directly from the coffers of the public school system.

    As to the comment of Bernadette, the system is not comparable to other provinces, where you pay your taxes to the system that you wished your children to be educated in, rather is was deep cuts to the public system to support the private system.

    The system called Surrey Connect, that was described as learning at home thru the internet is another of the Lieberal incentives.

    I believe that this is what Campbell and Clark’s vision for schools is all about. It is wildly unsuccessful as the completion rate is very low.

    A paper that was apparently from the ministry of education and circulated on one of the blogs stated that secondary school students have the ability to teach themselves, and that the reliance on teachers can be eliminated. Surrey Connect is that model.

    If our children are our future, then education should be the most important ministry in any government. It should not be driven as a political entity. Teachers should be treated with respect and learning should be considered a right to have the place to learn, but definitely a privilege to be able to do so.

    One of the most successful school systems is in Finland where teaching is a prestigious profession yet it is not driven by standardized tests and ‘teacher of the year’ crap.

    If learning happens, it is the direct work of any student that has the desire and ability to learn, to whatever level that might be. It therefore is the student’s pride of accomplishment that should be awarded and I do not mean by the honour roll system, but simply the system of doing the best damn job that one can accomplish.

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  15. Jim

    But the BC “Liberals” are financial geniuses and cut our taxes,a ll hail them, Gordo is one of the greatest premiers ever…

    (sorry I just threw up a little… if not completely clear that was sarcasm).

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  16. Gary

    I do not support our tax dollars going to private and religious schools. So what if these people choose not to use what they pay for in their taxes. That is their choice and the rest of us should not be punished for it. As for lowering the voting age, that is just another way for the Lieberals to try and grab votes. They are in desperate need now you know. That is why the federal Lieberals want to get rid of immagration laws, they need the votes and can’t find them anywhere else.

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  17. cherylb

    In my opinion if you want to be an elected official in BC, then it should be a pre-requisite to send your kids to public school. It’s the only way to ensure that the money that needs to be spent there is being spent there.

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  18. John's Aghast

    PLEASE do’t get sidetracked by this foolish voting idea. Its bad enough having adults vote without a test to evaluate their capability.
    If the Courts made the Liberals pay back only half the money they stole through BC Rail, Fast Ferries, PPP’s, ad nauseum we’d have more than enough for Health, Education, Homelessness, the Justice System and etc.
    Heck, we could probably sell the Screen Rights for BC Rail for enough to solve all these ills!

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  19. Stephanie T

    Bernadette said:

    “1. My understanding is the amount per child is less than the amount per child in public schools so private school parent taxpayers are subsidizing public schools.
    2. Also since the parents of children in private schools are taxpayers too, so it is seems fair that their taxes go to the school of their choice.”

    These are two of the most ridiculous excuses for private school funding by taxpayers that I’ve ever heard.
    First of all, you don’t get to pick and choose where your tax dollars are spent. The only control you have over that (which is to say, very little) is by voting for a political candidate who shares your views.
    Secondly, there are millions of taxpayers who pay every year for services they do not and never will use. For example, my taxes go toward the maintenance of the local swimming pool (been there once), tennis courts (never been), ball diamonds (not my favorite sport), horseshoe pitch (eenh) etc., etc.
    How about the senior who lives down the street whose children are long grown up, why should they have to pay to fund education?
    By there very nature, tax dollars are meant for the purpose of supporting PUBLIC services, not private. As someone up-thread said, it’s your choice whether to use them or not.

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  20. islandcynic

    Stephanie T has it bang on. Should all roads be tolled Bernadette? This way, I only have to pay for the ones I use. It is all about me after all…..

    Oh, and the Liberals believe in freedom alright, freedom to choose which bridge you can live under.

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  21. Laila

    All good points and food for thought and Stephanie has the most targeted point of all. Although Island Cynic makes a good point about Liberals views on freedom of choice…

    Beer, you tell it like is, always. Hit the nail on the head. Too many people forgive and forget too easily for my liking.

    Like

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