Vicious circle of education funding fails children

Re: School District 79 on hot seat . . ., Feb.13. This letter was also sent to the Minister of Education, Don McRae

The Ministry of Education is failing our children by choosing to fund a two-tier education system in our province.

Because of funding for private education, many families have chosen to withdraw their children from public school and enroll them in private schools where the class sizes are smaller and there are more resources and support available to students.

Because the ministry funds education based on enrollment, this has created a vicious circle for public schools: families withdraw their children from public schools, which leads to declining enrollment, which leads to smaller budgets for school districts, which leads to restructuring, larger class sizes, less resources and schools in disrepair, which leads to more families withdrawing their children.

When will the ministry realize they are endangering student success and put an end to this vicious circle?

Have you seen a Grade 3 classroom in an older public school? Chances are pretty good that there is duct tape holding down some broken piece of something in the classroom. There are a number of students who require additional supports or assistance, who are not receiving the assistance. Why? Because his or her problems aren’t as severe as some other student’s issues.

When was the last time you heard a school district in this province say they would not be reducing some services or selling a school to meet the budget that the ministry had given them?

The two-tiered education system in this province is not meeting the educational needs of our children.

I am disappointed at how our tax dollars are being spent in this province. I wonder whether the school tax levy I pay on my property taxes, actually goes towards our schools?  If not, then why is it labeled a school levy?

How can our provincial government keep saying that health care and education are their top priorities however they are not allocating enough funds to adequately provide for our public education system?

Belinda Waller

Lake Cowichan