Letter: Follow the money to find education answer

Dear Editor,

As I was reading the Sept. 21 Richmond News “Letters to the Editor” section, I was thinking to myself, I currently have one child in private school and one in public school, and I can honestly say, looking at both schools, that asking anyone to do their job without giving them the resources is setting them up to fail. 

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My son’s private school has smaller class sizes, 12-14 per class, a dedicated art room and teacher for all grades, a dedicated music room and the list goes on. 

All of these things help create not just a better learning environment, but a more enjoyable one, too.

In contrast, my other son’s public school, well let’s just say with the large class sizes and limited resources, it would appear even that isn’t good enough for the powers that be. 

They think five to 12-year-olds would be better off in mega elementary schools the size of high schools, fitting for the mega house neighbourhoods we live in (Gee, where did all those kids go?; a conversation for a different time). 

Yes, yes, the supporters of fiscal responsibility can argue there isn’t enough kids here or enough kids there, but how much does it cost to re-open or build a school after closing it versus carrying that cost over time.

Mark Twain once said, “Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail.  What you gain at one end, you lose at the other. It’s like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won’t fatten the dog.” 

For all the people who didn’t pay attention in school, I realize the kids still have a school to go to, but what Twain was saying is not only is education important, but so too is the quality of education.

After all that, I turned to page 10 and read the article “BC Liberals, NDP begin dance” and thought, ‘Wow there’s a coincidence.’ 

I bet the provincial government just loves having us quipping about one school at a time when we’re staying in small numbers within our own little districts. 

In that world, they never have to explain their actions or decisions. They don’t have to explain how their actions over the last decade have depleted our schools of resources and opportunity for our children.

As to our school boards, my two boys play minor hockey, and I am amazed at how a group of mostly unpaid volunteers can organize on a provincial level to give a very good development strategy. 

Why does it seem our school boards are not capable of picking up the phone and working together?

After all, they were elected by us to represent our children’s best interest, not the provincial government’s.

There was recently a lot of interest in a willow tree being cut down (still going to be cut down, if anyone is interested) and there were so many letters sent to the city.

Why don’t we all do the same to our honourable education minister Mike Bernier, Educ.Minister@gov.bc.ca.

After all, the election is not too far off. Follow the money, people, follow the money.

Remember, Premier Clark’s kid is in private school. He’s going to be just fine.

Jess Arnold


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