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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 17, Number 6, April 2005

Damage can't be repaired at any cost

I would have preferred to have seen the article on the education infusion of $150 million by the Liberals go into more detail (Quesnel Cariboo Observer, Feb. 2, 2005).

Gordon Campbell is saying that he will spend an extra $150 million provincially on education this year.

What must not be forgotten is that he froze education funding in 2001. In the last four years this freeze has been in place, school districts everywhere have been required to pay for rising costs in gas, electricity, transportation, and a teacher salary increase.

At the end of the day, these costs are in the neighbourhood of more than $350 million.

Provincially, class sizes have increased, schools have been closed in many rural areas, teachers’ jobs have been cut, special needs programs compromised, and other important programs cut all together.

Some districts have even resorted to a four-day school week just to make ends meet.

This is what has happened to our education system under Gordon Campbell’s leadership. This is what has happened to the education of our children in B.C.

Some $350 million out and $150 million back in.

And the damage that was done? That cannot be repaired at any cost.

George Natalizio, school trustee, SD 28 (Cariboo–Chilcotin)
Quesnel Cariboo Observer, February 2005.

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