Rally to protect public education, Wednesday March 7, 2 pm, Vancouver Art Gallery

Photos from the rally

A rally was organized by Vesta Teachers at the Vancouver Art Gallery this Wednesday March 7, at 2 pm.

I participated in the rally in support of teachers and public education on Wednesday March 7 at the Vancouver Art Gallery. There were easily a couple of thousand folks out on the plaza supporting the teachers.

Both of my daughters attend public schools and I attended in support of our teachers for all their efforts in teaching my girls over the years. Their school attendance mirrors the time that the BC Liberals have had their hands on the controls of government and public education. This is the second strike that my daughters’ education has had to endure.

Having kids in public school, volunteering and talking with other parents, I know the worst and the best parts of a public school education. I can attest to how hard teachers work to ensure that the available resources are triaged as affectively as possible for students. But,  If your child needs a different level of attention in public education whether because they need more challenges or more support, this is not consistently available on demand for students at all times, which is real shame.

Public education is at the heart of healthy and vibrant democracy. Students of diverse, cultural, ethnic and income interacting at school has many positive outcomes for society that are hard to measure in the short-term.

It has become increasingly apparent over the last couple of years how the BC Liberals don’t truly value public education and have been choking the system of funds to operate. Since the early part of their mandate which manifested in stripping teachers of their collective bargaining rights to determine class size, which was subsequently ruled unconstitutional by BC Courts to the continual lack of funds allocated to the system to support our students and teachers, this lack of focus on valuing public education is apparent.

Spending on education has decreased as a percentage of GDP since the BC Liberals have been in Government. Public spending on private schools has increased. While the Premier union bashes about students missing 3 days due to the current strike, the stark truth is that kids have already missed more days than that this year because of “district closures”, which were implemented to save money to balance a budget. Check out this fact sheet on the BC Liberals record on education. BCTF 2011 Fact Sheet

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