Agreed. Click here to read how parents and teachers support the lack of funding from the BC provincial government. View the slideshows to see how teachers make their classrooms presentable in 2014 on these links here and here.
Last night, I was sent a message from a high school friend whose kids have both graduated. In past years, she has been active with our district PAC, but I’m unsure of her level of involvement now. She was drumming up support for a fundraiser at an elementary school that my children don’t attend. She asked me to advertise their fundraiser to my own kids’ school, to benefit a reading program and playground.
How dare they not fund and pay and support public school teachers?
Every single aspect of our society, our democracy, our economy, and our quality of life, is built on the foundation of the education of children.
There have been cutbacks in education since I was a child. So I admit, I wasn’t really paying attention to the soft rumblings about the B.C. Liberal government cuts. It has always been thus, I thought.
Looking around my daughter’s school, at the shelves overflowing with books and art supplies, the clever calendars and charts on the walls that created order in the classroom, teaching concepts like days of the week and colours of the rainbow and months of the year… it never occurred to me that the situation was any different from when I went to school.
But, I was being lied to. This is very different.
A president of a local teachers’ association told me that the annual supplies budget for a school in 2002 was $115,000. This year, it was $24,000. Same school, same number of kids, one-fifth the budget.
So how is it that we haven’t noticed? How is it that we parents blithely drop off and pick up our kids, supervise homework, go to the meetings, school assemblies and performances, and have no idea that the entire school is functioning with a small fraction of the funding it needs?
The teachers have been lying to us.
They’ve been covering it up. Papering over underfunding and mismanaged fiscal priorities with brightly coloured posters and sparkly stickers. Concealing an impoverished system by buying the damn supplies themselves. Without receiving so much as a tax break on those purchases.
Well, that’s not going to happen this year. Even if they wanted to, the teachers, after four months of a desperate and bitter strike, are simply too broke to buy the supplies our classrooms need to be positive and effective learning environments. Some of them want to refuse to do anything but what the government pays for, because they want the parents to see the truth.
But that makes their job harder. And that makes it harder for the kids to learn.
Related blogs on The Huffington Post B.C.:
- I Refuse To Stop Spending My Own Money On My Classroom – Ashley D. MacKenzie, teacher
- Do B.C. Parents Have To Buy Toilet Paper Soon As Part Of School Supplies? – Carolyn Moeller, mother, community volunteer
- What You See in Today’s Public School Classroom Is A Mirage – Carla Friesen, teacher
- Dear Parent Of The Average Child: One B.C. Teacher’s Confession – Genevieve Hawtree, teacher
- The Difference Between An Engaging Classroom And An Empty One – Martha Lamarche, teacher