Re: A recent column by Frank Bucholtz, “Surrey a key school sector,” it is interesting to see Surrey Board of Education Chairperson Shawn Wilson say, “It’s very clear that government is actively trying hard to develop ways to help us find capital. I think if we manage things a bit better and cut through the red tape” there would be improvement.
I think the staff of Surrey School District have done an excellent job of managing “things” over the years and there is no question the students and families of Surrey deserve capital funding now – as they did 10, 15 and 20 years ago. I could go on, but this provincial government and the ones that came before them have not given Surrey School District what it needs and it is now a game of catch-up.
The trustees have been asking for new schools for years and it is time the on the Surrey school board took a stand. Yes, the district is caught in the middle of the middle of the “development at all costs” mayor and city council, and the “make money for the rich” provincial government, but it is time trustees made some real noise on behalf of the 71,000 and counting students in the Surrey School District.
If and when there is a new plan, it will be heavily weighted on the value the B.C. Liberals have on MLA seats they currently hold in Surrey and if they think they require more to become government again. It is so unfortunate that the education of our children, our future, is used in this political game.
The School District has played the current required game set out by the Ministry of Education very well. As Trustee Laurae McNally stated, the game changes regularly. They have moved and reduced choice programs, changed boundaries of over-crowed schools, disrupting many students and families along the way, all in the name of making neighbourhood schools more accessible for neighbourhood students.
I fully support neighbourhood schools for neighbourhood students, but the question is, with the never-ending problem of overcrowded schools, do the trustees and staff really think that is a reality?