Letters to the Editor

Respect for school board

Re: “Tips to cut the school district deficit,” Letters, Feb. 23.

One word comes to mind: oversimplification.

Of course the Surrey Board of Education has been discussing ways to overcome their budgeting challenges. One just has to read a newspaper or watch the news to witness that Surrey has been banging the drum for increased funding for years.

Surrey is the largest district in B.C. and one of the few growing districts. I think their request for public input is innovative and demonstrates a level of respect by the school board for the community in which it operates.

On letter writer Tracie Woodhams’ points:

1. Eliminate ESL. Seriously? So what is the alternative?  Legitimate immigrants often come to Canada for a better standard of living and that includes a brighter future for their children. So Ms. Woodhams envisions a society that leaves these children behind? I want no part of an attitude that penalizes children for the decisions made by their parents.

2. Secondary suite renters are scammers. I live in Clayton Heights which is a hotbed of suites, both legal and illegal. I see bylaw officers in our area often and have personally been inspected. I can also attest to the fact that the majority of rentals in my area are single people or young couples without children. The City of Surrey is fully aware of the situation and is trying it’s best to balance secondary suites with a shortage of affordable and safe housing. Check it out at: http://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/R235-47F5.pdf

3. Reducing or even halting immigration altogether. It scares me that people think this egocentrically. Just a little footnote in Canadian history: we were all immigrants at some point. I wonder how Ms. Woodhams would feel if her loved ones were denied access to Canada for no other reason that “there is no more room at the inn,” especially since the entire population of B.C. is only 4.5 million while the City of Los Angeles alone has 3.8 million inhabitants.

While I have no magical solutions for the educational funding deficit in Surrey, I have the humility to appreciate the hard work that is being done in the City of Surrey. My son has amazing experiences at school and I am proud to be a citizen of a city that values my opinion and is working hard to make his experiences even richer.

Ginger Hartman, Surrey


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