Letters

Cuts to School District 43 budget hurt kids in schools

The Editor,

Re. “Loud voices on school cuts” (The Tri-City News, April 25).

I am writing as a disgruntled grandparent and parent about the state of education in School District 43 and the province. I have a five-year-old granddaughter in kindergarten. I have raised two children (now in their 30s) who graduated from Coquitlam schools. My granddaughter’s experience, sadly, will be vastly different from theirs if funding and poor support for education continues going in the direction it is.

At my granddaughter’s school next year there may be no librarian, counselling or psychological services, very limited access to hearing and speech pathologists, larger classes, with much more limited access to special help, learning centre and gifted programs (if any), and a very long list of school supplies for parents to buy in September due to a nonexistent supply budget.

What a contrast to the experience my children had, with ample access to all kinds of educational services and an abundance of rich extracurricular sports and cultural activities.

I believe our province’s greatest resource is its people. Investing in our young people’s education is investing in our future. In the words of Nelson Mandela, “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”

Over the last decade or so, there have been many cuts to education. Some probably needed to be made to help keep our economy on an even keel after the 2008 recession. But we have reached a point where further cuts will irreparably damage the system and then there will be years of recovery. I don’t think any of our students deserve to be caught in a catch-up lag nor would that be good for our society as a whole.

I think now is the time for parents, teachers, support staff, school administrators, district administrators and trustees to work together to set clear priorities for this district and to convince the provincial government that a re-balancing of economic priorities is needed.

Sheila Marshall, Port Coquitlam

 

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