Public education should be protected and defended

Editor:

Re: In the Classroom, Jan. 23

article continues below

Please tell me the three separate articles promoting private schools were paid advertisements. They are not labelled as such, which begs the question as to why the Optimist is taking a public and biased stance on this controversial issue.

The articles frame the search for the right school as a choice only among independent schools, and lists 10 mythical advantages of independent schools. The many virtues of public schools are not mentioned.

I have been a public school teacher in B.C. for 25 years. I have seen dedicated teachers and education assistants do their utmost for children with varying interests, needs, backgrounds and languages. I have seen thoughtful programs initiated and delivered to support local kids, Indigenous students, children with special needs and abilities, and new immigrants. I have been amazed at what my dedicated and passionate colleagues have been able to achieve despite inadequate funding and precious little prep time.

It has always irked me that so-called independent schools receive public funding. In fact, according to the province of B.C.’s website, “Some independent schools in B.C. receive funding at either 50 per cent or 35 per cent of their local public school district rate.” In your article about debunking myths about private schools, money taken out of the public system and put into the private system is blithely referred to as “financially supported school choice” and the ludicrous suggestion is made that less money has somehow strengthened the public system.   

Public education in B.C. is alive and well due to the hard work and perseverance of B.C. educators. Public education should be protected and defended, not continually eroded in order to advance privatization.

The Optimist is normally extremely supportive of Delta’s excellent public schools and often features the accomplishments of our amazing students. Please, as a beloved community paper, continue to stand in support of public education. We need you.

Catherine Hay

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