Make education a priority
Last week, at the Delta Board of Education public input meeting regarding the budget, I listened to the roughly two-dozen speakers. There were some impassioned presentations and I was particularly impressed with the students who spoke. However, I do believe that many of the comments were directed at the wrong level of government.
I think we need to remember that the provincial government establishes education funding levels and amounts – it is the provincial government that needs to make education a priority for B.C.
I know that our local board of education advocates for increased support from Victoria, and I believe our community needs to as well.
As we are all aware, school districts across the province are struggling with costs and I believe much of this is due to a downloading of financial responsibilities from the provincial government to local boards of education. For example, this year when the province bargained and reached a deal with the CUPE workers in our schools, instead of paying for the increased costs of the settlement that they bargained, the government said school districts would need to find the money out of existing budgets.
Also, the BC Hydro rate increase needs to be covered by school districts. I do not believe school districts should have to pay such high utility costs. I also do not believe that school districts should have to pay carbon taxes and purchase carbon offsets. In my opinion, these are all costs the province should bear.
As a community, I think we need to recognize the excellent work that our teachers, school district management and staff do everyday. We also need to acknowledge that it is getting harder and harder for them to do such great work because of provincial government funding levels.
The budget shortfalls experienced by the Delta School District are a result of a funding shortfall from the province. We need to help our local public school system by advocating at the provincial level for more support for public education. Our children deserve it.
Chair, Delta DPAC