Public education needs to be strongly defended

Parents organizing a rally supporting teachers’ concerns at the legislature in Victoria recently correctly stated that current contract negotiations are not about teacher greed, as government suggests. At issue is the sustainability of an inclusive, accessible and academically rigorous public education system. If we truly value such a system, we must be vocal to ensure it is funded.

Currently, the Canadian public school system is internationally recognized as world class. In Canada, the majority of Canadian families enrol their children in public schools. I was surprised, therefore, when a school trustee attending this rally indicated not all trustees support or understand the vital role of public education.

As citizens, we need to ask if our children’s interests are being well represented by our officials. By all appearances, the public system is increasingly incorporating elements of a privatized system (i.e. academies which require “tuition fees” from parents) – except it is funded less and less adequately.

We need to ask hard questions to ensure our officials fulfill their mandate: Are you willing to support public education at the expense of private education? Conceivably, the answers from current and potential trustees may help us better understand where tax dollars are being spent.

In the meantime, let your voice be heard strongly defending public education.


Gillian Bateman, Delta

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