We’re stealing from the kids

Never mind the factory-line preparation plans outlined in the BC Liberals’ “Blueprint for Education,” they have already made our education system a corporate affair.

By giving back $40 per day to parents for their losses, they are continuing their reframing of the purpose of public schooling.

Parents are not our “customers.”

We do not teach children so that their parents are free to work, knowing their children are safely off the street.

Education is a public service provided to all of society. This is why it is paid for by everyone, irrespective of the number of children they have. Even limiting my argument to merely economic goals (the only kind recognized by our government), the nurturing of each child’s creativity and potential is an investment in a vibrant and diverse economy.

With this $40/day offer, the BC Liberals have made a clear statement about how little they value our most precious and valuable resource. To them, the purpose of school is keeping kids off the streets to allow the workers of today to show up on time and providing toiling backs for the mines and gas fields of tomorrow.

I say this is a very poor plan with small potential and very limited returns.

That money does not belong to parents. They are not the ones who truly suffer when our kids do not receive an education, although the short-term frustrations they feel are real, and I honestly sympathize.

It is the long-term costs that are being covered up—a massive lump of dirt and gunk bulging under the rug. That money should go to all of us, the citizens who depend on the benefits of an educated society. To the employers who will struggle to find employees with the thinking capacity and skills to make their businesses successful.

But mostly, it needs to go to the children. It is their future prosperity and successes that are being sold down the river so that a small handful of folks today can enjoy the nice presents they got from this government when it chose to cut taxes for corporations and the wealthy rather than keep funding public education for all.

Instead of lamenting the high cost of funding education properly, and focusing so strongly on parents’ present financial strains, we all need to focus on the long-term costs for these children of ours if we keep them in crowded classes and deny them the support they are desperately missing.

Steal from them and we all lose.

M. Curran

New Westminster

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