An open letter to Premier John Horgan and Education Minister Rob Fleming:
I write to you today as a B.C. public school teacher of 20 years, and educator of young children for 34.
I have been a supporter, campaign worker, financial contributor, and voter for the provincial New Democrats my entire adult voting life.
Although I believe your government has made some excellent decisions, passed some vital pieces of legislation, and implemented several very good actions since you’ve been elected, our critical system of public education is not one of them.
I am extremely dismayed, frustrated, and disappointed with your government’s approach to education since your mandate began. I can only assume that neither of you have been in a B.C. public school classroom since you became government, for if you had, you could never have continued the BC Liberal mandate in education over the last two and a half years like you have, which has devastated our students, teachers and the system, for more than 18 years now.
In case you haven’t been already informed, I would like you to know that our British Columbia public school classrooms are in terrible crisis.
Student behavioural, academic and mental health needs have increased at least 10-fold since I’ve been a teacher; multitudes of typical students are falling through the cracks daily, with significant learning needs, out of control behaviors, cell phone addiction, and so many other deep concerns that interrupt and prevent the vital learning of our children, not to mention the neglect that we provide our designated special needs students, every day.
I would like to put you on notice, Mr. Horgan, that if your government does not immediately reverse its present non-actions in public education, and begin to fund the system adequately, that I will no longer be able to vote for the provincial New Democrats in future elections, and I will encourage all of my colleagues, and those who support public education to do the same.
I apologize for my bluntness in this letter, but I believe that the state of our public education, and its prospective future is completely dependent on what you decide to do today.
If you choose to remain on the present path you are currently on with education funding, I fear for the future of this society, and believe strongly that if you refuse to fund education adequately, you had best be planning to build many more mental health facilities and prisons in this province, because you’re going to need them!
Tina Anderson, Burnaby