Advocating for Public Education
BC teachers are reaching out to parents and concerned members of the public to support public education in every community in the province. We invite you to join with us in striving to maintain quality public schools and securing a bright future for our students.
Teachers are very concerned about school closures, overcrowded classes, and the lack of support for children with special needs. Three years ago, the government promised to reduce class-size and class-composition problems, but students are still waiting for the support they need.
Get involved... support public education
As parents, you may be wondering why the BCTF is involved in a campaign advocating for adequately funded public education. Our decision to make education a priority stems from our commitment to public education. Inherent in this commitment are the principles and ideals of the Charter of Public Education. Foremost among these is that everyone has the right to a free, quality public education.
What parents really want
The BCTF hosted a public education conference in October 2006 entitled "What Really Counts; Rethinking Accountability" which included the workshop "What Parents Really Want". Facilitator, Charles Menzies, posted workshop information and resources for parents on his blog.
Class size and composition
Teachers are working hard to meet the needs of all students in the face of large classes and not enough support for students with special needs. You may find this brochure useful when you meet with other parents and community members.
Many people have trouble understanding the meaning of "class composition." What is this "class composition" all about will help you understand the issue.
We continue to raise the issues of class size and class composition at the Premier's Learning Round Table.
Teachers are also very concerned about the impact of the excessive focus on testing, data collection, measuring and ranking. The brochure "Talking about teaching and learning" may help to begin a discussion of these issues.
Neighbourhood schools closed
Between the 2001–02 and 2008–09 school years, 176 public schools in BC have closed, and many more are slated to close or threatened with closure in coming years. The number of closures in such a narrow space of time is unprecedented in our province’s public school history.
The BCTF has compiled and made public a comprehensive accounting of the closures in BC school districts since the BC Liberals were elected. Go to our school closures page for more information about the impact of cuts in communities and to participate in an online discussion forum.
Take action to protect learning conditions in our schools
The BC Liberal government is claiming that their policies haven't harmed public education. The government has not resolved the problem of oversized classes and lack of support for students with special needs. We would like to invite you to talk to your children's teachers to lean more about your school's needs.
We ask you to join us in working together to advocate for your children, our students. Click here for additional information and ways you can connect with people.
Links to advocacy groups
- BC Society for Public Education
- BC Teacher-Librarians' Association, monitoring school library cuts in BC.
- Canadian Coalition for School Libraries, advocating for the funding of school libraries in Canada.
- Canadian Union of Public Employees, BC Division, advocating for members who work in BC schools.
- Community Alliance for Public Education
- Consortium 43 is a Coquitlam area parent advisory group. They do not have a web site but may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Friends of Public Education blog
- In Support of Public Education, a blog authored by Dr. Charles Menzies, UBC.
- Mothers Against Power Poles, striving to halt installation of high emission frequency power poles over a high school.
- Parents Against Cuts in Education, a non-partisan, non-political, non-union group concerned over the lack of funding for education.