News Views: Court speaks, listen B.C. government

Ruling tells government to improve classroom conditions in Maple Ridge

On Nov. 10, the B.C. Teachers’ Federation won a dramatic Supreme Court of Canada decision, essentially rolling back class sizes to pre-2002 levels. That means more teachers and classrooms. It also means additional money – hundreds of millions of dollars – will be required in the provincial education budget because smaller class sizes means more teachers and classrooms.

The provincial government put aside money in case the court decision went this way, and the two parties put some language in their 2014 contract to deal with this potential situation.

It’s difficult to argue against smaller class sizes. When B.C.’s great teachers get to spend even a little more time with each student, we all win.

Teachers were justifiably delighted with the Supreme Court decision.

It’s too soon to say exactly what this long-awaited resolution will mean for schools in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

The money is there, the B.C. Liberal government seems willing to honour the ruling, as it should, conveniently in time for the spring election.

But for the average voter and parent, it just seems like the latest public relations move by the government in the never-ending charade it plays with financing education.

It exacts cuts from school boards, then returns the money. It gives out money for school buses, after boards had cut such services in order to comply with previous government budget trimming. Its an incessant cynical game that frustrates parents, teachers and kids and demeans our education system.

B.C.’s Liberal government need to heed this Supreme Court decision and from this point, honour and sustain our precious public education system that has served our society for generations.

– The News

 

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