The Canadian Press
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This election I am voting NDP because I am tired of fundraising tens of thousands of dollars every year for basic supplies. I am tired of special needs students spending years on wait lists for support they need to fully participate in their education. I am tired of our school board having to decided which service or support they will cut every year. I am tired of attending consultations for school closures that pit communities against each other in fights over which school deserves to stay open.
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I need to talk about education. About the premier's deflection of all questions about more than a decade's worth of underfunding. About how she keeps saying that B.C. students are ranked number one internationally for reading. Because the fact that we rank number one in reading means nothing.
The money is a first instalment.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Thirty years ago, school supply lists were quite short, perhaps just two items: pencil crayons and a geometry set. But for a number of years now, the lists have become very long and often include two types of paper: photocopying and toilet. How did we get to this point?
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In the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the government of Oceania has an entire Ministry that uses all forms of media to create a false reality. In British Columbia today, the Government Communications and Public Engagement office has a budget of $37,900,000 to ensure that you have the correct view of what the B.C. Liberals do for you with your money.
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The B.C. Liberals have been cutting funding and supports for public schools. This year alone the government asked school board to find $25 million in "administrative cuts," last year it was $29 million. So this one-time funding announcement is not what I consider to be an addition to funding, but rather a reduction in this year's cuts.
But my joyful relating of this good news will be dampened by the knowledge that there is no funding to make possible the full implementation of the new curriculum. It's as though my students have been given the keys to a car without any money for insurance or gas or maintenance or even driving lessons.
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We live in one of the most expensive places to live in Canada, have some of the highest taxes, are one of the only provinces to pay a health premium -- and yet we are second to last in the country for education spending. How can this be?
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All 60 B.C. school districts will receive some cash.
I didn't expect the province that I grew up in to have changed their priority on public education so much that there will be a lost generation of students.
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Math and literacy will be the only skills to be formally tested starting in the next school year.
Here in B.C. our students (if they even qualify) will get $1,200. This might get you one year of textbooks, hardly a progressive move by any means. But our government is using this grant to try and gain support, and they are spending public tax money to push these ads on TV, radio, Internet, newspapers and other media.
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Education Minister Mike Bernier acknowledged the privacy breach as "unacceptable."
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The saddest part to me is how much of the public buy into the "lazy, greedy" teacher persona that our government portrays in an effort to justify its constant underfunding of our public schools.
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Parent advisory councils are now expected to cover everything from sex ed, earthquake supplies, recess/sports/music/gym equipment, classroom supplies, technology, sound systems for assemblies, library books, year end activities, field trips, playgrounds and more.
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Gerard MacIntosh was a North Vancouver principal and Grade 8 teacher.
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3.4 milion records dating back to the '80s have been lost.
As a mother of two high-school aged kids and an educational consultant, I see first-hand the struggles that students and parents face. With the new changes to the curriculum I see the potential for these challenges to increase exponentially.
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Each time I tried to imagine what personalized learning would look like in overcrowded classrooms with outdated technology, my mind sent me 404 error messages. Nothing computed.
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There are so many contradictory messages that emanate from the government, it's hard to make sense of it all. It seems that there are two different personalities that take turns being in charge at the Ministry.
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This cabinet shuffle shows clear signs of Christy Clark trying to further tie our children's education and future to LNG.
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Four ministers have new responsibilities.
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Things are worse. They are so much worse. I cannot express how bad things are getting. It's because I love the work so much, that I have to leave. I've spent the last two years thinking about going. I've felt increasingly sorrowful that I simply cannot do all that these kids need and deserve me to do.
Prince Rupert School District
"There are many things that have happened in the province of British Columbia people are not aware of."
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For 40 minutes each week, kids will be introduced to simple parts of the language through songs and activities.
There is absolutely no benefit to students to have full-to-the-brim classrooms; if there is why do private schools advertise small class sizes for a better learning environment?
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The report also said there are more than 10,000 empty classroom seats in Vancouver schools.
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Now that Bill 11 has become law in B.C., giving the minister of education the power to determine what I do for my professional development, I'm looking forward to his plans to help me to deal with some challenges I have in my teaching practice. I have some questions that I hope he can answer.
You see, standardized test results don't paint a full picture. And neither do my words here. You'll just have to come see for yourself.
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50 schools showed significant improvement in the annual ranking that continues to be dominated by private institutions.
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The 13-year legal battle over class sizes in British Columbia should teach us that relying on the courts is not a winning strategy. After a decade of court battles, classes are as large as ever, funding on the decrease, and the teachers' strike fund depleted from legal costs.
Seeing that declining figures don't seem to effect the government's ability to fund our corrections system, I fail to see how our province is unable to provide our children with at least the national average for our public schools.