Its definitely not the students and their families. Nor is it the communities as they wither away and eventually become ghost towns. I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard from the older generation that they did their part in schools when their children were young. If you think the issues now facing public education don’t affect you …. think again. Who will work in those hospitals that won’t be built when small communities are becoming ghost towns. What about the property values on your home when you can’t sell it? Click here to read the full article or an excerpt below.
Blows to public education support
The district may have won itself yet another reprieve, but at a high price: alienated teachers, unhappy parents, and a divided board. In this, North Okanagan-Shuswap is all too typical. Scores of B.C. school districts are trapped in a demographic trough: industries are shutting down, families are moving to bigger towns (or their kids are), and enrolments are dwindling. Teachers, trustees, and parents all want the best schools possible, while Victoria hands out too little to pay for them.
Then, as Brenda O’Dell observed, the boards must do the government’s dirty work of cutting programs, laying off teachers, and closing schools. This leads to predictable anger and local quarrels, damaging the social capital that small communities must have. Parents, unhappy with the acrimony, turn to independent schools or home schooling, further reducing not only the public system’s student population but also its parental support base. Fewer people will run for school boards, fewer teachers will seek small town careers, and once thriving communities will shrink still more.
Since the BC Liberals were elected in 2001, this process has worked from the top down: the government picks fights with teachers and bullies boards, consistently underfunds districts (including the few like Surrey that keep explosively growing), and then sits back to watch as trustees, teachers, and parents fight over the scraps they’ve been tossed.
If you stopped to think about it, you’d almost think it was policy.