Not just “noise”!

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Citizens from all over BC have used our quick and easy email tool to tell Mike Bernier, the minister of education, that their public education funding concerns are more than just “noise.” Here is just a sampling of the comments he has received.

Sara, Vancouver: “I am the mother of a 3rd grader in the public school system. I bear witness to the impact of the funding cuts to education with my own eyes, every single day of the school year. This is not the public education system I grew up with. I worry about the quality of my son’s education, and what will be left for him and his cohort by the time they graduate in another ten years. I am tired of the endless parental fundraising to purchase basic supplies for the school. I am already paying taxes.”

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Justine, Chilliwack: “I urge you to come and see first hand what our district is dealing with. You will see why they had to start charging for busing, why custodial hours have been reduced, why our special needs students are having to share EAs. You will see why parents have to hold fundraisers from September to June to supplement their school’s paltry budget. And you will see what’s on the chopping block for this year.”

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Tennile, Armstrong: “Quit downloading costs to the school boards, and to parents. I want my children to have the same equal opportunities for education, not be stuck in a tiered school system that doesn’t value them or their potential to be contributing citizens of this province. Schools are the heart of this community!”

Linda, Osoyoos: “Sustainable and adequate educational funding should be a priority of our government. Children and communities such as Osoyoos will be negatively impacted by this government’s decision to view a lack of funding as a local issue rather than a provincial responsibility. It is disheartening to hear the Minister of Education dismiss the public’s concerns as ‘noise.'”

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Lenore, Vancouver: “I did not think that when my son started school years ago that almost every year I’d have to advocate to stop the cuts, especially for special needs…
Not everyone has the time and energy to tell you and we rely on those who do have that to tell you. Those groups are telling you the truth… I would love to have all the time back I have had to spend making sure there are no cuts to my son’s needed services, all the time I’ve had to write government, all the time I have had to worry when he wasn’t getting or he might not get all the resources he needed.”

Kelowna: “We do not know why the School District boards of our province are not all up in arms. Instead they spend most of their time dealing with cutbacks and closing schools to try to meet your underfunded figures. Also, the growth of private schools in the last two decades has been to the detriment of our PUBLIC system. Please publicize the amounts and rationale, together with growth, over the last twenty years.”

John, Nanaimo: “I find it rich that politicians who send their children to private schools so easily dismiss the FACT that the public education system is sorely underfunded. My children should not have to suffer a lesser education just because I am not privileged enough to afford private school tuition.”

Wendy, Burnaby: “I am offended by your lack of respect for BC’s citizens and their concerns about public education. Isn’t it your job to insure that all students in this province receive a quality education?”

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Caroline, Comox Valley: “I have been learning more and more about the state of our public education system and as a new parent I am shocked by the state of it all and the downward spiral caused by the lack of funding… It breaks my heart that perfectly functioning small community schools (proven to give good outcomes and help raise quality caring citizens) are being closed in such large numbers.”

Jodie, Vancouver: “As a parent AND a citizen of BC, I believe that education and health should be the top priorities for my tax dollars. To be productive members of society as adults, children need adequate support and resources for their education. I don’t want my government to be ‘penny-wise, pound-foolish.'”

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Coquitlam: “Every time funding is cut, more fundraising happens where parents have to end up paying for everything the school budget doesn’t cover… PAC is no longer what it should be; the majority of topics are on how to fundraise more and it’s stressful. Families are already struggling with rising costs… This mentality of taking away from schools and kids has to stop… It’s the most important thing yet first to get budget cut.”

Comox Valley: “As a parent of a child in grade 1 and a preschooler, I am concerned by these dismissive comments. The on-going downloading of costs to school districts and ineffective funding formula is degrading public education in BC… With our school district looking at ‘solutions’ like 4.5 day weeks, it is clear there is no excess left to cut, and in a district experiencing decline, parents are wondering, ‘What’s next?’ Why should public education for my child look drastically different from that of a child that happens to live in a district with increasing enrolment?”

canyouhearus-ReneLorna, Shuswap: “My kids are grown but I’m rallying all of my 50+ crowd to support education by petitioning the government to fund education so that our system, and our kids, can THRIVE, not just survive, for Pete’s sake! It’s time to get the grandmas and grandpas moving!”

Heather, Parksville-Qualicum: “Children are our future! Why are we not investing in them? You can only take so much away from children before they no longer have the tools for success.  I don’t want my children to just survive school, I want them to flourish and grow, to become something better than they dreamed.”

Dave, Vancouver: “I am the PAC chair… I was told that the job of the PAC is to help guide the teachers as to what the students and parents would like for their children’s education. But it seems that the purpose of the PAC is to fundraise for the school so students don’t go without important tools for a better education. We are not employees of the school board nor are we paid. Yet we work very hard to give our teachers the tools they need that you do not supply.”

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Saanich: “Our most vulnerable citizens are the ones you are victimizing by not fully funding public education.  I don’t pay my taxes so you can waste my tax dollars helping corporations, literally paying corporate welfare.”

Add your voice! Please take a moment to use our quick and easy tool to send an email to the minister of education and your MLA, telling them your concerns about public education funding are not just “noise.”
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