LETTER: Public should demand more of education system

I’m afraid that I have to disagree with letter writer Kevin Simoe on direct payment to parents...

Re: Tax rebate for parents so children can attend private school, Aug. 6 edition.

I’m afraid that I have to disagree with letter writer Kevin Simoe on direct payment to parents in order to educate their children be it in public or private schools. This would be a form of the “voucher” system which would make educational planning totally impossible.

Today’s school system is funded annually; therefore, planning is limited to one year. B.C. school trustees and educators would like a minimum of three and an optimum of five years of financial predictability in order to plan for a three- to five-year period for operational and capital expenses.

But, underlying all of this is the principle of using taxpayers or public funds for a service (education) that is only available to a limited number of children due to access criteria (religion, social standing, cost, marks, etc.).

We don’t apply this principle to other services such as health or transportation. Like Mr. Simoe, I would enjoy a tax rebate so that I can have my medical needs attended to without a waiting list or my transportation needs attended to on private, non-public roadways.

I’m sorry, Mr. Simoe, but if more parents and businesses paid more attention to the education of our children, we would have a better public school system. Instead of “flocking” to the private school system, perhaps they should demand more of the public system.

And as for parties being out of line, the only one is the BCTF, of which, unfortunately, all teachers have to be a member, whether they want to or not.

We certainly need labour relations and union membership reform in this province. We need a fair deal for students, for parents, for taxpayers and then for educators/teachers. Note the order.

G.E. MacDonell

Abbotsford

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