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Thursday 25 April 2013

Better Schools in B.C.

This is an excellent read:

British Columbians should be very proud of our public education system. Teachers and other educators work hard to help B.C.’s children gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence to take on the world. Today’s students will be tomorrow’s teachers, doctors, engineers, and loggers. They deserve a government that will invest in their education to ensure B.C.’s social fabric and economy stay strong. Sadly, over the last decade, chronic underfunding has weakened our public education system. In addition, the illegal removal from teachers’ collective agreements of provisions on class size, class composition, and minimum staffing ratios for specialist teachers meant real cuts for students. As a result, B.C. is now behind the rest of Canada on many key indicators. According to Statistics Canada, B.C. provides $988 less per student per year than the Canadian average. Our province also has the worst student-educator ratio of all 10 provinces. In short, our students are being shortchanged. This underfunding has meant real cuts in classrooms across the province. There are now more than 15,000 overcrowded classes. B.C. has lost more than 1,500 specialist teachers which include counsellors, teacher-librarians, learning assistance teachers, and English language learning (formerly ESL) positions. This total includes more than 700 special education teachers at a time when the number of students with special needs is increasing. The cuts mean each child, regardless of their learning needs, is getting less one-on-one time. And, the children who need extra support are not getting it. It’s time for change. B.C. needs a government, regardless of which party wins, that will reinvest in education. That’s why B.C. teachers developed a platform called Better Schools for B.C. and shared it with all political parties. It is a positive vision for education that provides better supports for our kids. It builds on our public education system’s strengths and makes kids and classrooms the priority. We know it will require significant new funding, but we also know from public opinion research that the public overwhelmingly supports putting more resources in schools to help children learn.
read more here

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