Re: Teachers go back to the bargaining table in spring, Burnaby NOW, Sept. 5.
I hope the B.C. Teachers' Federation and their president, Susan Lambert, can learn to get along better with Don McRae, the new minister of education, than they did with previous ministers. I, for one, am getting very tired of hearing Ms. Lambert claiming that education funding in B.C. has been cut when it has not been.
Over the past decade (i.e., since the 2000/01 school year) education funding in B.C. has been increased by $1.4 billion. That's a 26 per cent increase.
This funding increase is particularly noteworthy when you consider that there are now 63,000 fewer students in B.C.'s education system than there were a decade ago.
And that's not all.
On top of the $1.4 billion in increased education operating funding (i.e., to pay teachers and staff), the province has also spent another $2.1 billion to build 93 new or replacement schools, to acquire 22 new school sites, to renovate 27 schools and to add on to another 150 schools.
How, in good conscience, can a professional body like the BCTF (one that seeks respect and support from the public, and presumably the same from the Minister of Education) characterize a significant increase in education funding, along with significant investments in new schools, as a decrease in education funding and somehow claim it to be a cut?
Monika Bonney, Burnaby