The last two weeks of school passed with teachers and teachers’ aides, standing on picket lines rather than working with kids in classrooms, as they would wish.
I visited the picket lines throughout the constituency to support these passionate and hard working professionals who play such an important role in our children’s lives and in our society.
What struck me in the conversations, is that contrary to Premier Christie Clark’s public accusation that for teachers, “it’s all about the money.” In fact, they are all about the kids. They told me about large classes with too many special needs kids with inadequate support; about buying school supplies or helping pay for field trips out of their own pockets; about volunteering for coaching and other extra-curricular activities.
Teachers feel insulted by a provincial government that has twice been sanctioned by the courts for its illegal attempts to strip class size and composition from their contracts.
Make no mistake, public education is suffering from the cumulative effects of a Liberal government ideology of tax cuts and privatization.
It isn’t just our children who will pay the price for this shortsighted agenda, we all will pay, in the form of lower productivity and incomes, and higher social costs.
MLA, Saanich North and the Islands