Taxpayers deserve better bang for buck in schools
The government continues to put the needs of a few ahead of the needs of the many.
While mixed composition classrooms may benefit a few students, the negative affects are felt by many other students, teachers, parents, and taxpayers.
It is time to go back to separate special needs classrooms, increase regular class sizes, and tell the teachers no more money.
I would also like to see teachers’ personal attendance made public. Taxpayers should be entitled to their employees performance.
TIME FOR CHANGE, AND ADVOCACY
Dear Education Minister Peter Fassbender and BC Teachers’ Federation President Jim Iker:
It is time to change the way we do business in education. The current process for settling labour matters and funding the education system is not working. Over the past number of years, there has been an almost constant political battle between the two entities you represent. We need you to find another way to settle your differences.
As parents, we are invited constantly to take one side or the other. We are subjected to a deluge of information telling us everything from “we have one of the best education systems in the world” to “our system is deteriorating drastically.”
We see the effects of this ongoing dispute on a daily basis in our schools. Students are put in the middle of the battle and relationships between parents and teachers are tested. Some students are identified as being the proximate cause of our need for more resources and are being targeted as the reason that the needs of other students are not being met.
We profess to believe that all students belong in the classroom but our system operates in ways that do not support this principle. We talk about the terrific potential of our students but we identify and label them based on what we perceive to be their weaknesses.
We do not find the current situation acceptable. As the primary advocates for our children, it is clearly time for us to become more engaged in our education system.
Moving forward, the following are some of our key priorities:
1. We will advocate for a funding formula that protects student services and classroom supports.
2. We will advocate for and seek an active voice on issues related to learning conditions.
3. We will advocate for appropriate classroom resources for all our children and our schools.
4. We will advocate for structures and processes that align with our core beliefs.
5. We will advocate for an active parent/teacher/student partnership to ensure that each and every student’s strengths are optimized and that each and every student’s needs are met.
6. We will advocate for a positive and collaborative school culture where the voices of students, staff and parents are all included and where the rights of everyone are understood and protected.
John Bird, president
Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils