Public Education ‘Needs a Champion’
Prince George, B.C. – With a provincial election, a little over three months away, the Prince George and District Teachers’ Association is looking for a candidate who will ‘champion’ public education.
Teacher and PGDTA secretary Tina Cousins made the impassioned plea at this weeks’ Prince George School Board meeting.
“In the past, our Liberal government has let us down. We’ve been met by silence. There were times they wouldn’t even meet with teachers,” she said. “It doesn’t matter which party the candidate runs for – NDP, Liberal, Green. We need somebody who is going to make sure that it’s a priority. Whoever comes into that role needs to work with teachers because it hasn’t happened.”
And even though the BCTF’s finally secured a Supreme Court of Canada victory over the Province regarding class size and composition in November, she said she’s only “cautiously triumphant.”
“Because we’ve often though that we were going to get something and then in the long run the carpet gets pulled from under you,” said Cousins. “So, cautiously triumphant in the fact it was awesome to win the court ruling. But we don’t trust our government. By their own admission $300 million is the price tag and we’ve only gotten $50 million. It’s a drop in the bucket.”
Voters head to the polls May 9.
Public education would be better off if the BCTF were disbanded. No government of any stripe is good enough for them.
Best idea I heard yet! Too many theorists with no life skills creates confusion within the ranks!
Absolute rubbish! Quite apart from the fact that teachers are just ordinary people with all the experiences that ordinary people have, they are also extremely skilled in dealing with a government and Premier which is so proud of its deeply ingrained anti-teacher, anti-education, anti-public service policies.
I can not recall a time that the teachers in B.C. were at peace with ANY government (that includes the NDP decade) for any length of time!
If (as stated above) 50 million dollars is a drop in the bucket, 300 million would be only six drops! Get real! The province has other financial obligations to look after – health care already taking a huge chunk out of the taxes we pay! There is only so much money to go around!
Our youth is important it stands to reason that a good education is as important as health care. I would guess that many of our drug problems are related to a lack of education.
Ammonra, being anti-BCTF is not being anti-teacher. This is a common misconception. The BCTF is basically a political organization which promotes the NDP. And why wouldn’t they? The last time the NDP wss in power, the gave the BCTF a sweetheart deal as they were about to be turfed.
The BCTF is not primarily a political organisation, it is a trade union within the meaning of the Labour Relations act, and its primary purpose is to represent its members with their emplyer. In that capacity it takes part in political activity as it is fully entitled to do.
And, yes indeed, being anti-BCTF is most definitely being anti-teacher since ONLY teachers can become members.
As to a sweetheart deal, teachers earn more now than they did under the NDP. Their salaries have increased since the Liberals have been in power. Does that mean the Liberals have given them an even sweater darling of a deal? Or, does it perhaps just illustrate the necessity of good faith bargaining with public servcants no matter which party you represent. After all, the Liberals are now on the hook for millions of dollars because of their bad faith bargaining and unilateral action cancelling contracts
Ammonra, if you don’t believe the BCTF promotes a political agenda you simply haven’t been paying attention for the past 30 years. It exists for the pure benefit of its members and nothing else. It protects bad teachers and favours senority over merit. Mind you, many unions do the same thing.
What a dumb comment. They are a trade union. Of course, their member’s welfare is going to be put first. That is the way it should be. Part of that is ensuring they have tolerable working conditions, so they can do a proper job educating kids. That is why it was idiotic of the government to think that they unilaterally could set the working conditions of teachers.
Also, seniority should always count whether a worker is unionized or not. Promotion by “merit” is nothing but fiction. Not promoting by seniority is just opens the door to nepotism, cronyism and ageism.
I find this mighty righty comment so ridiculous, when you consider that it was a right wing provincial goverbnment which forced, forced, teachers to convert the BCTF from an ordinary association into a trade union. Remember, be careful what you wisdh for, you might get it. The might righties did!
So why does the BCTF not apply for a decertification of its trade union – if it is so upset about it – and form an association?
Trade unions can go on strike agai st their employer – a fact to be considered first, of course!
Personally I agree that the trade union label does not fit teaching professionals at all. Are you sure that union status was forced on them? How are teachers trades people like carpenters and pipefitters?
And who told you the BCTF is now upset about being a trade union? I merely pointed out the historical facts. I made no comment about its current attitude. My point was that the ones now bitching about the BCTF are in ther same part of the political spectrum as those who FORCED the BCTF into becoming a formal trade union in the first place. So why are they complaining about the consequences of their own actions?
The BCTF has fought with every government. They will not be happy til they’re running the Ministry.
Actually public education would be better off if this Christy Clark government disbanded. Constantly picking fights with teachers and losing them in the courts. It’s actually quite comical, congratulations to the BCTF, because of their Supreme Court win; more money will going into public education. Parents with children in the system appreciate your hard earned victory.
The NDP has fought with the BCTF as well. Why not just admit that the BCTF’s job is to never be happy no matter who is in power?
Ironic, coming from someone who will never be happy with the BCTF no matter who’s in power!
I take my view by what I’ve seen the past 30+ years. What about you?
Rusty wins this round. Well Done!
Good ole Griz, always the cheerleader and never the player!
BH, I just don’t suffer fools well.
Then you must find it hard to live with yourself.
” By their own admission $300 million is the price tag and we’ve only gotten $50 million.”
Her choice of the word “we” speaks volumes to me.
“We” can be used in many contexts, Here it clearly and obviously refers to the education system as a whole, including all the students, administrators, teachers, aides and maintenance personnel, not just teachers themselves. None of that money goes to increase present salaries of present employees, particularly teachers. It goes to hiring more teachers and special needs assistants. You know that perfectly well and are just fomenting megacrapola by by deliberately twisting and distorting what Tina Cousins said. Just remember that people who post here reveal what is in their mind.
You do however forget that more teachers = more dues.
Yes, and more teachers = more expenditures.
Seems to me that the big push for smaller class sizes started about the same time that we started to see a demographic shift that was resulting in a decline in the student population.
The BCTFG, fearful of losing union dues from teacher lay offs due to declining enrollment numbers, deduced that by advocating for smaller class sizes, they could stem the pending tide of layoffs and the subsequent decline in their income base of union dues!
A union has become nothing more than a big business and as some on this site regularly comment, big business is only concerned about their profits!
Of course, I could be wrong!
“Of course, I could be wrong.”
That is the usual state of affairs with you, so nothing new there. Unions are not corporations or businesses. Union leadership from the shop floor rep to the President are duly elected by the membership, generally from the rank and file. When was the last time a Company’s management, not including worker cooperatives, elected by their workers? The answer is never.
Volumes all right…The NDP doesn’t really need to form a government when they have the BCTF, BCGEU, school districts and most municipal governments doing their bidding and fleecing the taxpayers.
The government should phase in a voucher system for education in BC which would quite naturally lead to competition thus creating a better product at less cost.
The best teachers and principals at their child’s school is what parents want and only competition can achieve this.
According to SD 57 this year they have a budget of $127 million for 14,239 students. So it costs us an average of $270,000 this year to ‘graduate’ one class of grade 4’s…
Yes, I’d say we’re getting ripped off.
I notice you used the tired, old trick of presenting the figures in such a way as to make them look as large as possible, presumably in the belief that large numbers irritate people. Usually, costs of education are expressed as per student not for an unspecified class size. According to my calculator and using the figures you gave, each student costs $8,920. However, that includes maintenance of the physical schools, transportation for out of town students and a host of other ancillary costs, not just teachers’ salaries.
This voucher education system has already been well discussed in the past and rejected, mostly because it would lead to selection of students by schools resulting in an uneven distribution based on wealth, social status, race, religion and colour. It might occasionally be based on intellectual ability as well, although I think that ability in sports would trump that.
I have never understood why people think that competition selects superior ability. I would have thought that the best teachers, for instance, would gravitate towards the educational system which paid them the most for their work. Those left over being left to work for lower pay somewhere else, private schools for instance.
Your calculator had a malfunction. BC spends more than 8,920 per student. Maintenance of the schools are not paid for under the per student calculation but rather a completely different facilities grant. Per student funding is over 10,000 in every province
2015 budget which was amended by District 57 shows 12,928 FTE for a total of 133 million which is 10,291 before any other income including facilities grants. Total income for 2015 was 141 million or 10,978 per student
I used the Microsoft calculator that comes with Windows 10, so I suspect it in not wrong. However, I used contractor’s figures of $127 million for 14,239 students. That comes to $8,919.17. He quoted the school district so I presumed they were accurate. If his figures are wrong then so are mine. In any case, a few hundred dollars makes no real difference to my point.
I stand corrected on facilities maintenance. Does that include salaries of employees who do the maintenance?
On a list from the highest per student funding to the lowest per student funding for each province and territory, where does BC fall?
Nice deflection, but that doesn’t change the fact that we spend as taxpayers 220,000.00 per year on a 20 student class. Or as “contractor” states 270,000.00 to graduate a grade 4 class – this class he mentions would have less than 25 students.
Their budget is roughly the same as the city of prince george and there are 70,000+ residents. How can they constantly say they don’t have enough money, when virtually every “extra” activity or event at the school costs the parents extra money. So really, what are we getting for our money?
We’re not getting much. The teachers, on the other hand, get plenty of vacation and sick time and have a phenomenal benefits package.
Man, those teachers have it so good. You should apply for a job in the education system, since you think it is such gravy train. Teachers wages and benefits are a matter of public record, since they are public servants. Is is really easy for someone like you, with an unknown income and benefits level, to shoot off his mouth about how teachers have it so good.
How much do you make and what benefits do you get, so we can make judgmental calls about how easy you have it?
Well Bent, It is because Christy and her Liberal government do not give the educational system enough money to run it properly, preferring to force school closures, amalgamation leading to overcrowding, etc, etc, etc.
OR they simply don’t know how to spend it wisely.
The main qualification for this “champion” will be liberal left progressive. No one else need apply as the snowflakes in the education system, teachers and students would have apoplectic fits if another conservative invaded the ranks.
Remember the fits up at the uni when a conservative was appointed into their ranks. Wonder how that is going?
One wonders how anyone would expect a Christy supporter, by definition an anti-teacher, anti-education, anti-public service type would be even remotely able to present views from the BCTF when their whole bent would be to support the stress and underfunding of the educational system.
“liberal left progressive”…. as opposed to what, “radical right regressive” ?? We know you hate education seamutt.
Why does right have to be radical? It’s the left who have the tantrums and resort to violence if they don’t get their way.
Where did I say that I hate education? It’s just how the education system has turned radical left and imposing their biased beliefs on a vulnerable crowd, students. You, and BH are a result of that system in your adolescent responses to any criticism to your fantasy utopia.
“adolescent responses”….this from the guy that gets comment sections closed on certain articles. Yup, you are definitely the mature one.
Digitus what comments closed, more fack information from you. Hey I am not the one calling people names in tantrum outbursts.
You know, aboriginal news items.
What is “fack” ?
“Killory” , “Odunder” ….you seem to think its okay to call people names (or falsely accuse them of crimes) when your having your childish little outbursts. Hypocrite.
“It’s the Left that resorts to violence.”
Yeah, I could really see that it was the Left resorting to violence when one of your rightie brethren shot up that Mosque and killed six people.
Yes, a bunch of Left Wingers went on rampages and busted a few windows and committed vandalism, but no one got killed. On the whole, if people have to resort to violent action, I’d rather see a bunch of broken windows than mass murder and bombings, which is what the Right does when they go on a rampage.
I get the impression a few of these comments are composed by teachers! I was in a union for over 35 years! I find it simply amazing that the amount of professional days, stat days, sick days, educational days and a few other nicely worded phrases, that they have the audacity to keep on asking for more tax money because they can’t seem to find enough! I do know a few good ethically moral teachers who take their job seriously, but I know of a few more that are very lackadaisical about their career. After all, the union does project deadwood! And for the the person who said rubbish, I say bull! OK, my rant is over and now I can get my supplies for the Super Bowl festivities tomorrow! The AMERICAN version! The CRTC putting their nose in where it doesn’t belong bugs the heck outta me, but that is a whole separate story! LOL
Never enough, never satisfied, never realistic.
Student funding in B.C. second worst in Canada, argues new report.
Again (since you didn’t get it the first time), that is with facilities added in, for a small province build a new school and the dollars you spend per student goes up putting you on top for education spending per student for that year.
Something tells me that you were never in a Union or hated that you were in one. What was it that gave me that impression?
Oh, that’s right. Your entire pathetic, vitriolic post.
BC’s public schools remain one of the most underfunded in Canada. In 2013, the per pupil funding rate was $11,836, second lowest in Canada, only Quebec was lower. Saskatchewan’s per student funding was nearly $3K higher than BC’s.
This was also in the article:
“The provincial government doesn’t directly dispute the charts the CCPA uses — but argues the report cherrypicks misleading indicators.
“The CCPA ignores the most important indicators for the education system — B.C.’s student outcomes are some of the best in the world,” said a Ministry of Education spokesperson in a statement.
Government officials say public education funding has gone up from $3.9 billion in 2001 to $5.1 billion in the current fiscal year, even though there are 70,000 fewer students in the system.”
So, this indicates BC is able to do more, with less.
Comparing to Manitoba is ridiculous. Almost 90% of our population lives in the GVRD. Manitoba population is spread out through the province and has a higher FN contingent. Of course it’s going to cost more per student – there’s no efficiency of scale.
I think the biggest problem facing education is the failed experiment of integrating behaviorally challenged children into the class where even with a special assistant they get to disrupt the learning of all the other children and give the teacher an almost impossible job.
Oh oh BH is not going to like you exposing her cherry picked information.
You had me up to the third paragraph, then you had to put in;”Government officials say…” You expect us to believe anything these Lieberals say??? They are the most unethical government in Canada, bar none!
So BH refute the article then, easy peezy.
Unfortunately that champion is not the NDP either, maybe the BCTF will start a party to champion the cause?
How important is education? Just look at that train wreck of a government south of our border!
“Those with the least number of years of education are far more likely to support Donald Trump, while those who have had the most schooling are much more likely to back Hillary Clinton, according to a Bloomberg Politics national poll released this week.”
More and more people are waking up to the fact that more education means a smarter voting population! Educated people make more informed decisions, and are less likely to believe fake news. Besides, the more educated a society becomes, the more likely they will vote left in the political spectrum, why? Because everyone knows intelligence leans left.
Actually just because you are educated, which I think you actually infer educated elitists, does not automatically make you smart. Voting for dear leader proves my point.
So what you are saying validates reports that the educated and elitist “left” completely ignored and maligned the uneducated redneck republicans and in the end got their asses handed to them by those very same uneducated redneck republicans!
BH, so what you are saying validates reports that the educated, arrogant and elitist “left” completely ignored and maligned the average right wing uneducated redneck and as a result, the educated, arrogant and elitist “left” got their asses handed to them by the very same average right wing uneducated redneck!
Speaking of education, please educate us as to why you have had to come back here so many times under a new moniker! People#1, Sophic Sage, BeingHuman and how many others? What’s up with that??
Bent: “How can they constantly say they don’t have enough money, when virtually every “extra” activity or event at the school costs the parents extra money.”
These extras are available because volunteers, most of them teachers give time for these actives to take place.
If you have children in sports such as minor hockey, ringette or dance, you pay.
BH – it says government officials – that usually means civil servants – not politicians – so yeah, unless you think the BCGEU civil servants were lying, we should be able to rely on their word. You know, like you expect us to do with you when you cherry pick, misquote, give half the story, etc.
Thing is, what people like you seem determined to never realize, is there is a limited pool of funds from which to draw from.
You are a member of the group who yell “fund everything fully, tax that other guy”.
You are also likely a member of the group who likely doesn’t pay much in taxes, that’s why you find it so easy to spend other people’s money.
You also don’t understand the law of unintended consequences.
Raise corporate taxes!!!! – sounds great. Except an increase in corporate taxes results in less money for business to compete and innovate, resulting in less employment and resulting in smaller dividends to pay to RSP’s and Pension Plans to support seniors.
Tax the rich!!! – well, a lot of the rich are professionals like doctors. And tax them enough, and next time you go for that hip replacement, you might have to go to Australia, because that’s where those doctors went when they got sick of paying taxes for your fund everything program.
It’s a balancing act of taxation for services and taxing your economy until it stalls – ask the NDP – they wrote the book on it.
Sure, there’s waste in government – and sadly – it doesn’t seem to matter which government.
And the reality is, you hate Christy Clark because she won’t give you everything you want. You want her to save the wolves, and the Caribou, but the wolves eat the Caribou.
You want her to make the classrooms a great learning experience, but you’d be the first screaming your head off if she segregated special needs from mainstream.
You want the seniors looked after, but seem to have no idea how that’s going to work when there’s as many under 15 as there is over 65.
You want all the Syrian refugees brought into Canada, who will further burden the education and health system – and it sucks bad things happened to them, but reality is we need immigrants who can become tax payers, not tax consumers.
You hate Donald Trump for doing what he said he would, and you love Justin Trudeau who isn’t doing what he said he’d do.
You want cash cash cash for all the programs, but you don’t want it to happen by digging holes in the ground or cutting down trees.
I could have some respect for you if there was some rationality to your arguments, but you seem to live for one thing only, trash Christy Clark – which is ironic, because you also believe there should be more women in government – I guess you mean – left leaning women.
Two thumbs up for this post.
Ski 51 excellent post! You nailed BH and his backwards ideology
Ski51, I am in awe of your fantastic post! Congrats, best one of the day!
Well, BH, you have been given the badge of honor. You are the recipient of a major bully boy ad hominem attack. Congratulation, wear it as a badge of honour. You are being told that your posts are so relevant and on the nail’s head that your opponents have no answer but to attack and insult you personally.
Where was the hominem attack? BH got beat in the debate and that is all you got, typical but to be expected. Bullying and personal attacks against BH, you have got to be kidding. You are ignoring the flagrant juvenile attacks posted by BH, why is that?
Almost every line says, “”You want…..” followed by what the writer expresses as a negative. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that ski51 has never met BH and doesn’t know him from Adam or, possibly, Eve. How then can he possibly know what BH wants on so many different things, political angst perhaps from not being able to refute comments?
Wow ammonra, obviously the truth hurts! You belittle yourself in your attempt to defend BH!
Wow, now an attack by Hart Guy. I am soooo devastated!
Oh my, Ski a slam dunk.
Seamutt, on another thread on this article you said, “Hey I am not the one calling people names in tantrum outbursts.” However, you apparently have no compunction being a cheerleader for someone who does. Now, what does that say about you?
Great comment, ski51! They sidestep uncomfortable questions! I asked why the BCTF – if it is so upset about being a trade union – does not simply have its union decertified and form an association! No answer except another stab at the government.
Comparisons for per student funding have to take many factors into consideration. Simply stating numbers without those facts are useless. A province can have an efficient education system by closing schools when the enrollment numbers have dropped below sustainability and thereby saving substantial expenses.
Just one example: A lower per student funding number can reflect those savings – that is a positive rather than a negative.
In any case, the BCTF has never been at peace with any government so it is quite useless to present facts.
I did reply to your comment about if the BCTF was upset about being a trade union to decertify. That particular statement came out of your own mind. You know, raise a straw man then blow it down. Rather dishonest, I think. Your statement that there was no response is absolutely false. I pointed out that the BCTF has not said that it did not want to be a certified trade union. I pointed out that it was a right wing Socred government that FORCED the BCTF to certify and bargain provincially insterad of district by district. At least be honest enough to not make false statements on this site. It demeans you absolutely.
As to you comments about student funding: If you can’t justify something, by all means spout BS.
This is nothing new ammonra, they have tried badgering me off this site before, I simply ignore their personal attacks. We need to look at this over the long term at least to May 9th. Between now and then I have plenty of researched information on this incompetent, unethical, and uncaring Christy Clark government. Many facts from many sources, these are a source of constant frustration for them, they cannot counter the evidence based messages, so they attack the messenger.
What a laugh! Does the word sociopath ring a bell?
Peeps, you better not release all of your information before May 9th! You’ll probably want and need some of it for your rants over the next 4 year Christy Clark Liberal Government! That is, if your head doesn’t explode on May 9th, haha!
As far as trying to be badgered off of this site, what’s the reason why you left us so many times, only to come back under a different moniker?
People#1, Sophic Sage, BeingHuman, etc, etc! I can’t even remember all of them!
Why do you leave and come back under different monikers? Answer the question Peeps, it can’t be that difficult!
Why Peeps, why?? Inquiring minds want to know, haha!
Problem is the “research” presented when shown to be wrong or at best misleading is presented again in the exact same fashion about a week, must be a copy and paste situation.
Like for instance the fact that the NDP had 6 downgrades to BCs credit rating by 4 different rating agencies, yet somehow they were doing so “awesome” they never dropped below AA which was so great for the province…
Yet you fail to acknowledge that since that time there has not been a downgrade in BC’s credit rating but many upgrades. Oh, and I know what you are thinking – in 2013 before the election Moody’s “downgraded” BCs credit rating from AAA to AAA, and DBRS warned their rate could go down because the NDP have the best chance to form the new government which could delay or cancel budgetary measures and result in a change in fiscal direction. But luckily for BC that didn’t happen.
Think this “reality-check” was presented at least 3 times last month to try and show how awesome the NDP was in the 90s to somehow counter the fact that BC is doing extremely well when compared to the other provinces in Canada
slinky, I see that you haven’t yet received a response from BeingHuman? That’s pretty typical of him!
What’s the matter BH? Can’t you handle the “facts and truths”?
Who cares what “ratings agencies” say? After the 2008 debacle it became clear that the opinions of “ratings agencies” were, are, and probably always were garbage when they failed to take responsibility for all the triple A ratings they were giving out for worthless trash. “Ratings agencies” showed that they will give whatever rating is wanted just as long as you show them the money in the form of fees and continued business.
I think if we focus on the kids, we cannot go wrong ammonra and karrman. We know this government does not care about our children, and goes much further than short changing them on their education. Here is an example:
In 2003, the BC Liberals had the great idea of lowering the legal working age to 12 years old. On May 9, 2013, First Call released an eye-opening report on B.C.’s child labour laws, showing staggering statistics such as: 43 per cent of youth workers have reported injuries on the job, including a 12 year old who sustained burns all down the front of his body from battery acid. A handful of children now on permanent disability. WorkSafe paying out $1.1 million in disability claims to children. A high number of children dropping out of school due to work schedules.
See what I mean? This government does not care about our children… do the research and you will find numerous examples that demonstrate this Christy Clark government’s uncaring attitude towards children… everyone knows for example that BC has among the highest child poverty rates in Canada, and has been for more than a decade. A caring government would have taken measures to reduce poverty, yet BC remains the only province in BC without a Poverty Reduction Plan…. SHAMEFUL!!!
oops, yet BC remains the only province in “Canada” without a Poverty Reduction Plan… SHAMEFUL!!!
Focusing on what is best for our children, includes public schools and post secondary education, however there are many other areas where our children are suffering, expose government abuse in those areas and you will reach a wider, more caring, audience.
Just my thoughts.
Yes the NDP care so much more about “our children” that the BCTF never had to fight, or go on strike, or be legislated back to work for any… oh right… oops sorry to interrupt your fact giving mission
As Charles Jago said in 2011 “The mindset of the BCTF was fascinating to me, their sense of grievance goes back 40 years. It is real and palpable and is played out at the table. They can’t overcome the past.”
There are some on here who constantly accuse the teachers of using our children as pawns when they negotiate, or plan strike action. Yet those same people enter a state of cognitive dissonance when presented with “evidence” that it was the Christy Clark Government who used BC children as pawns in its’ strategy against the BCTF.
“The ruling of Justice Griffin in the Class Size and Composition case (Bill 28), reinstated by the Supreme Court, and states this as a finding of fact: “The government thought that a teachers strike would give the government a political advantage in imposing legislation that the public might otherwise not support. It felt that the timing of legislation to deal with a teachers strike and failure of collective bargaining could fit conveniently with the timing of legislation to address the Bill 28 decision repercussions. The government planned its strategy accordingly.” Premier Clark conspired to take children out of school for her own political interests, in other words she used the children as pawns, and that is the finding of the court.”
See, its’ easy to share the facts and the truth so the many who visit this news blog site become more informed before the next election. ammonra, karrman, or anyone else, you are free to share my researched information on your social media sites. It is time to dispel the lies and share the truth!
BH, every time that you are presented with “facts and truths” that don’t align with your “facts and truths”, instead of responding, you run and hide hoping that we won’t notice your failure to respond! And then you reappear later, hoping that we’ve forgotten about your failure to respond!
Well, guess what, we’ve noticed and we haven’t forgotten!
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