Letter: Support students by asking for more money

Dear Editor,

Thanks to Langley school trustees for writing to Education Minister Peter Fassbender, Jim Iker, and Mike Roberts, urging government and teachers to return to the bargaining table before too much damage is done to students and the education system.

It’s important, however, to recognize that much damage has already been done to education in this province, due to under-funding.

A strong message must be given to government that adequate funding must be restored.

Trustees know full well that they have had to make difficult decisions over the past number of years, cutting services and programs for Langley students, all because of lack of funding.

Are trustees comfortable with the level of funding? Should government keep downloading its responsibility and require school boards to pay for increases in Hydro, MSP premiums, pension contributions, and salaries, without any additional funding?

Langley has two high-profile MLA ministers in Rich Coleman and Mary Polak. Are they advocating for Langley students in caucus?

The taxpayers elected trustee to advocate for our students. They need to advocate for more funding so that the system can meet the needs of even our most special needs students.

I’m not going to throw into my arguments statistics about funding comparisons in Canada, as those have been bantered about by the two parties. Trustees need to just ask themselves if they are happy to continue cutting programs and services for students.

Without their voice, government is going to continue to underfund our education system.

The current Liberal government keeps saying there is no more money, that the budget must be balanced.

I disagree. It’s not lack of money. It’s misguided priorities.

As a taxpayer, I wouldn’t mind paying more taxes to restore the real funding levels we had more than 10 years ago. Everyone needs to do their part, including businesses and corporations.

Education must be available to all, equally, whether affluent or poor.

Education is an investment in our future, not merely a current expense which must be minimized to balance a budget.

Ken Tannar, Langley

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