I am writing to express my frustration regarding the proposed closure of four schools in School District 69.
Young children are being up-rooted, their communities destroyed. These closures represent only one-third of a $3.6-million deficit. Where is the other $2.4 million annually coming from? As a parent of three with two children still in public school, I can no longer keep quiet.
The education of our children is under attack. Sadly our reaction seems to be the demarcation of territory. Qualicum Beach against Parksville, elderly against youth, rural against urban. This is non-productive, divisive and frankly embarrassing. The conversation should not be keep my school open and close yours.
It is folly to blame the school trustees. Though elected by the citizens of the district, their role is to oversee the running of this district by district staff. Their power is limited. They do not set taxes, curriculum, class size or teacher and support staff salaries. These decisions are made in Victoria.
The blame truly lies with Premier Christy Clark and Minister of Education Peter Fassbender. They chose to underfund public education in this province. They and their agents have hamstrung trustees across the province with contracts, hydro increases, new curriculum, computer programs and systems that have not been funded.
They have dictated contracts that have been deemed unconstitutional. They continue to show the court contempt on this. As Canadians we value the rule of law yet this province’s government seems to choose to ignore it. Why? Is it because they feel that no one cares?
I care and I do not feel I am alone in this. We all benefit from well-educated, well-adjusted individuals — including our corporate citizens.
I implore the citizens of this district to write the premier and the education minister. Tell them that you want and value a quality education for our children. Tell them that you want funding that supports quality education in this district.