Today Virginia of all places is running ads in North Carolina recruiting teachers, can Alberta be far behind Virginia?
One of the better pieces on the mess in BC's education system was written by a teacher. This teacher identifies as someone who usually votes conservative, who has never been so much as a shop steward and past Rotary president, now finds she has to speak out.
Here's an excerpt...
I am not a political person.I voted conservative most of my life. I have never canvassed for a political party. I
have never held any union position, even something as innocuous as shop steward. I write a daily blog of POETRY, not political commentary.
Shawn Bird, BC Teacher
I believe in a ‘live and let live’ attitude about most things, but I have voted every election since I was old enough. I take my responsibility as a citizen very seriously. I try to be educated about my opinions. I seek information from those who know what’s going on. I don’t trust the news to tell me the whole truth. I am living in an Orwellian world these days where politicians and some news stories are making declarations completely opposite to what I know is true. Because I am a BC teacher, I live in an alternate reality to the one the government describes.
Calling a black cat white does not change the fact that it is a black cat!
Here’s what I know.
After then Minister of Education Christy Clark ripped up contracts with BC teachers in 2002, I watched money leak out of our schools. We haven’t been able to replace text books. Our rooms don’t get cleaned thoroughly because custodial time is the bare minimum. I’ve seen libraries closed, until to be full time a librarian must work at 3+ schools. I’ve seen arts education cut. I’ve seen learning disabled kids unable to be diagnosed because there isn’t funding for it. I’ve seen needy kids partnered with kids who have a designation so that a Education assistant can help several of them together when they each need one on one help. I’ve seen buildings and equipment falling into disrepair. I’ve seen copying budgets run out months before the end of the year. I’ve seen teachers feed kids. I’ve seen parents and local corporations donate food to kids who would otherwise not have breakfast or lunch. I’ve spent a fortune on supplies for my class room- supplies that I can not deduct from my taxes like other professionals can.
The BC Liberal government announces that they’ve ‘increased funding to school districts’ and on paper that’s true, except they’ve also required districts to pay millions of dollars from their budgets, for things that the government previously funded separately. Money that used to go to students now pays for earthquake proofing and the like. Hydro has gone up. Gas has gone up. But the allowance to pay for them hasn’t.
During the strike the government announced that teachers are demanding triple the benefits of any other group. Such doublespeak! They don’t tell the public that what they call ‘benefits’ in that statement refers to ‘everything that isn’t wages’. In other words, things like class size and composition funding, support staff like teacher assistants, and non-enrolling teachers like librarians and counsellors. These are not benefits! Those are properly staffed and funded schools! Does a doctor call his nurse, receptionist, and stethoscope ‘benefits’? The public, of course, imagines ‘benefits’ are simply extended health and dental and so believes the government lie that teachers are greedy.Shawn goes on to make an even stronger case for teachers, you can read her whole blog post here..
Thanks to Raffi for the link