Put legal fees into the classroom

It is disheartening to read Tom Fletcher's support of the B.C. Liberals' decision to appeal Madam Justice Griffin's court ruling.

Editor:

Re: End this bloody B.C. school war, Feb. 5 Northern View.

It is disheartening to read Tom Fletcher’s support of the B.C. Liberals’ decision to appeal Madam Justice Griffin’s court ruling of Jan. 27, 2014.

The government is choosing to spend more money in legal costs rather than improve their funding for education. Claims of the highest funding ever run counter to the following evidence:

– The B.C. Government has failed to address cost pressures on school districts, resulting in ongoing budget shortfalls and significant cuts to education programs and services.

– The B.C. per-student funding is $1,000 below the national average.

– B.C. has done considerably less than the rest of Canada to improve operating funding to school districts. Between 2006/2007 and 2010/2011, operating expenditures for elementary and secondary public schools in Canada as a whole increased by 19.6 per cent compared to only 9.6 per cent in British Columbia.

– B.C. ranks the lowest of all the provinces in terms of improvements to education funding. Our province ranked the lowest in seven key indicators used by Statistics Canada to measure public school expenditures.

Who is most impacted? B.C. students.

Our kids deserve the best. By appealing this decision, the government is saying no to smaller classes, no to increased support for students with special need, no to extra help for all kids, no to just meeting the Canadian average for funding and no to building a relationship with the teachers of B.C.

Kathy Murphy

President, Prince Rupert District

Teacher Union