Letter: Equal access to quality education for all B.C. children

I want my kids back in school on Tuesday as much as any other parent, but not at the expense of the kids that stand to lose the most.

To the editor:

This past year my daughter’s Grade 4 teacher encouraged her students to ask “deep thinking questions.” It was her way of helping her students look at the bigger picture—the long term effect of a decision and what beliefs we hold that ultimately form our opinions and values in life.

As the uncertainty of this school year looms, each B.C. citizen needs to ask themselves this type of question about our education crisis and what role they may play in the bigger picture.

From the conversations I’ve had, it seems that the core value that determines one’s opinion regarding our current public education dispute is whether they feel their responsibility in life is to themselves and their immediate family—an “every man for himself” attitude, or they feel their responsibility is to our entire community—an “it takes a village to raise a child” attitude.

My husband and I could (with some financial sacrifices) afford to send our two children to private school. However, we believe that we are all in this life together. What makes our two children more deserving of a fully supported education system than the child who is born into a family that could never afford private school?

Will my taxes have to go up to provide equal access to quality education? Yes! But I’m OK with that. Just as I am OK with my taxes going up for health care so that my elderly neighbour doesn’t lose his life savings due to a cancer diagnosis. (A common scenario in the U.S.) Taking care of one another is a value I believe has always been woven through Canadian culture and admired by other countries.

Please look at the bigger picture. There are people who’s knee jerk reaction is to pull their kids out of public school in favour of the small class sizes and better resources that private schools advertise, and public schools are fighting for. Please reconsider and help fight for equal access to quality education for all children, regardless of their tax bracket.

This is not a “teachers fight” (I’m not a teacher). It is far bigger than that. Kids are long term investments, ones that will pay off as qualified professionals that we will depend on at some point in our future. Every citizen of B.C., regardless of whether or not you currently have a child in the public school system, should care about all children having equal access to education to realize their full potential.

It’s time we all act with integrity, looking out for the greater good of all, rather than only what will benefit us individually.

I want my kids back in school on Tuesday as much as any other parent, but not at the expense of the kids that stand to lose the most.

Jenn Taylor,

Kelowna

 

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