School buildings are great, but more support inside needed

Take this government to task on under-funding the human resources that students need.

So the Christy Clark government has now seen fit to announce some funding for schools in Surrey just prior to the upcoming B.C. election. How typical.

The lack of funding for new schools is particularly shameful considering this government knew all along what the projected enrolment of the Surrey School District is, and has been, for several years.

It took a delegation of dedicated parents to go to Victoria in order for our politicians to wake up and smell the coffee. I applaud those parents who took the initiative to go to the source of under-funding of our students and demand better for their children

It is to be hoped that parents recognize and further take this government to task on under-funding the human resources that we need in order to help all students achieve their potential.

Students who require one-on-one support from an education assistant are often getting shared part-time support and there are not enough learning support teachers to help those with learning disabilities or language barriers. Before Clark was the minister of education under then-premier Gordon Campbell a decade ago, all students needing extra support outside of the classroom were receiving it, but that is not the case anymore. Those that used to receive extra assistance must now vie for the attention of their classroom teacher and only a few of the most needy continue to receive support outside the classroom.

More students come to school with mental health and speech issues than ever before, yet there have been no improvements to access to counsellors or speech pathologists in recent years due to inadequate funding of education in this province.

While having a building in which to house students is a step in the right direction, parents need to be cognizant of, and act upon, the fact that what is offered within those four walls in terms of support for all children in order to be successful is currently beyond inadequate and needs to be equally addressed by this government immediately.

Thank you parents for leading the charge and recognizing that it is not the school district that is shortchanging our students, but the Clark government.


Arlene Laing


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