Unless you have the ability to afford private school, I do not think anyone would if they took a few minutes to learn what this is all about.
Bill 22 will eliminate classroom size restrictions. Would you put your 11-year-old child in a classroom of 40, 6 of whom are special needs, with one Education Assistant, and one teacher. Would you think that your child will get the best education experience possible in this situation? Now imagine if it were 50? Does this seem unrealistic? Our school district needs to cut $1.5 million this year. How are they going to do this? Cut a program, increase class sizes from 32 to 40+, cut a librarian? What would you do? This is a reality, and it will start next year.
Bill 22 will eliminate the number of students with Special Needs that can be in a classroom. It used to have a cap of three. These students need one-on-one assistance in most activities. How can a single teacher address this properly, and teacher 30+ students? Imagine 40+ students. To think that the educational potential will be met by any of the students in this situation is inconceivable. Image your child in this class. This is a reality, and it will start next year.
Bill 22 eliminates the requirement for the superintendent to report to parents and the public on class sizes. This purposely suppresses the transparency of what the situation will be to parents and to the general public as a whole. They will never have to address this, and ensure that every student is being attended to properly. A balanced budget, or your child’s report card. What will you care more about? Whether the school district’s budget is met, or how your child’s class is hindering his or her performance. What will be more important to you? This is a reality, and it will start next year.
Bill 22 results in a “net zero” wage freeze. Imagine a new teacher entering the profession in B.C. The starting wage is $48,000 before taxes. It takes 10 years of full-time teaching to achieve $66,500 also before taxes. Who is going to do this after 5 years of education? A newer teacher, one that truly cares about students, will not help questioning how is it fair to earn less each year – for the next three years, and be expected to do more. More students per class will mean more work, and inflation alone kills any rate increase of pay. Never mind increases to ICBC, insurance, and utilities. Really good teachers are going to be lost. This is a reality and it will start next year.
Bill 22 addresses many more issues and concerns. As a parent, wanting the best education possible for my child, is what I care about. With much larger class sizes, less special needs assistance, no reporting by superintendents, and the loss of good teachers, my child will not obtain the potential that he or she can achieve. This is a reality and it will start next year.
And for those that argue that class size does not matter – I taught at B.C.’s #1 ranked school (St. George’s) for two years, and what do they advertise first – low class size. What is it? A maximum of 21. All my courses had no more than 18, and I even had a few at 10 or less. What did they pay each teacher? 10 per cent more than the BCTF. If you want results, you reduce class size, and reward teachers; not demoralize them. Otherwise, we will just be watching the rest of the country move ahead of us and our children will lose out. It is no secret why the U.S. and England are ranked so low. They are 17th and 31st respectively. Please join me as a teacher, and as a parent, to fight to kill this movement.
Teachers need your support, your children need your support.
I really love B.C., I do not want to move, and I should not have to contemplate homeschool!