Union defends public education

Re: Taxpayers deserve better treatment, Opinion, June 19.

To the Editor,

Re: Taxpayers deserve better treatment, Opinion, June 19.

I could not agree more with the title to Chris Bush’s article.

But Bush needs to understand that it is not productive to damn his daughter’s teachers with faint praise for their “dedication and professionalism” and then go on to villainize the teachers’ federation for the disruptions caused by Christy Clark’s unconstitutional legislation.

Without the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, Bush needs to consider who exactly would defend his daughter’s right to a fully funded public education system.

The Fraser Institute? Not likely.

For this is exactly the government agenda: the more disruption it causes in the public system, the more attractive the privatized, for-profit system looks to disenchanted parents. After all, the privatized system offers everything a parent could desire: reasonable class sizes, modern technology and support for struggling students, and dedicated teachers who go the extra mile.

The last few months have clearly established that public school teachers already meet that last criteria; now if we could just convince government to be responsible and provide the rest, as is its duty.

Parents considering private school?

If so, please don’t blame the teachers’ federation, for it believes you deserve those qualities in your public system, rather than paying twice to the taxpayer-funded private system.

The BCTF may be many things and may have many vested interests it supports.

But if it has a “political agenda”, as Bush asserts, then this agenda is to defend and promote a fully funded public education system that has as its mandate the promoting of democracy, equality and tolerance for the rights of others and a fully literate and educated citizenry.

The federation has been very successful in meeting this challenge through the years, and if Bush cannot see this, then he needs to travel more.

Daniel Companion

Nanaimo