Letters: ‘The education they need in Maple Ridge and elsewhere

It’s time to respect our rights and fund the full restoration of what they illegally stripped away

Teachers learning new ways to teach.

Teachers learning new ways to teach.

Editor, The News:

Re: Election budget sets the stage (B.C. Views, Feb. 15).

Tom Fletcher was right to say that education will play a key role in the Feb. 21 budget.

He’s also right that B.C. teachers are raising the bar for government.

With our Supreme Court of Canada win at our backs, B.C. teachers are telling government that it’s time to respect our rights and fund the full restoration of what they illegally stripped away.

When our working conditions improve, so do our students’ learning conditions.

So, after 15 years of unconstitutional legislation and underfunding, this is the budget that needs to finally deliver the necessary funding to improve working and learning conditions in our schools.

That means smaller classes, more support for children with special needs, and increased time with specialist teachers for all students.

Mr. Fletcher is also right that we are calling for the de-funding of private schools.

Last year, independent schools received $358 million in public funds.

It’s time to phase out that practice, starting with the elite private schools that charge tens of thousands of dollars in tuition.

They don’t need subsidies from taxpayers.

In addition, families who have children with special needs should not have to be coming up with thousands of dollars to cover the cost of programs and services that have been cut from the public system.

Those students should be able to get the education they need at their neighbourhood public school.

Glen Hansman

BCTF president