Per student funding increase is needed

Editor, The News:

Re: Education ministry wants more (The News, April 9).

I find it refreshing to hear from our local school trustees that they have finally come to the conclusion that their multi-year strategy of letter writing to the provincial government, asking for more funding to help solve the budget crisis has fallen on deaf ears.

The teachers of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have been saying for years that this type of advocacy is not enough and are in agreement that citizens, and in particular parents, need to make their voices heard.

I would suggest, however, that those citizen parents not stop at pressing the provincial government for improvements, but also ask those same trustees to change their tactics. This will mean asking them to step outside their comfort zones and put themselves at risk of sanctions.  Sometimes changing the status quo only comes by putting oneself at risk. Teachers know this all too well and, in fact, many history lessons prove the point.

The Wednesday, April 16 school board meeting is the perfect time for citizens to ask trustees to stand up and advocate in a different manner.

One irrefutable point that can be made is that B.C. students receive $1,000 less each than the Canadian average, according to Stats Can.

This is a disgrace in such a wealthy province. By just reaching the Canadian average, there would be an additional $14 million in the local coffers next year.

Todd Patrick

Maple Ridge

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