Teachers must make a fresh start

BCTF should take this opportunity to start fresh with a new education minister.

To the Editor,

I hope the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and its president, Susan Lambert, can learn to get along better with Don McRae, the new minister of education, than it did with previous ministers.

I, for one, am getting tired of hearing Lambert claiming that education funding in B.C. has been cut when it has not been.

Over the past decade (since the 2000-01 school year) education funding in B.C. has been increased by $1.4 billion. That’s a 26 per cent increase.

This funding increase is particularly noteworthy when you consider there are now 63,000 fewer students in B.C.’s education system than there was a decade ago.

And that’s not all.

On top of the $1.4 billion in increased education operating funding (i.e., to pay teachers and staff), the province has also spent another $2.1 billion to build 93 new or replacement schools, to acquire 22 new school sites, to renovate 27 schools, and to add on to another 150 schools.

How, in good conscience, can a professional body like the teachers’ federation (one that seeks respect and support from the public, and presumably the same from the minister of education) characterize a significant increase in education funding, along with significant investments in new schools, as a decrease in education funding and somehow claim it to be a cut?

The BCTF should take this opportunity to start fresh with a new education minister and work on building a better relationship.

If you ask me, it has to start with honesty and an end to the deceptive, self-serving claims of the federation and Lambert.

Monika Bonney

Burnaby

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