LETTERS: Evaluating cost of education

Editor:

Re: Teachers’ union celebrates class-size ruling, Nov. 16; Good news for Surrey students, Nov. 23 column.

Editor:

After the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling in favour of the BCTF (Teachers’ union celebrates class-size ruling, Nov. 16), Premier Christy Clark stated: “We all want to get to the same place, which is let us have class sizes that work and more special assistants.”

However, the BC Liberals, when Clark was education minister, did the opposite. They increased class sizes, decreased the number of specialists and then illegally denied teachers the right to bargain those issues.

The premier now has the gall to add: “If it costs more money, that’s a good thing in lots of ways because it’s a good investment to put money into classrooms and our kids.”

If the electorate wishes to buy this nonsense, make sure you explain it to your children and grandchildren!

Ross Davidson, Surrey

• • •

Re: Good news for Surrey students, Nov. 23 column.

The federal and provincial funding for the new environmental engineering building at SFU’s Surrey campus is great news. The possibility of better support for Surrey School District’s capital needs is also good news.

But there’s a third area where Surrey and its students have long needed good news – the level of funding for our local university, Kwantlen Polytechnic. For every 1,000 residents of this region, Kwantlen has long been funded to serve only 10 students; other regional universities are funded to serve 20.

And in areas of real need, like adult basic education and English-language training, Kwantlen is funded to serve only a quarter of the number of students who need these programs, relative to the rest of B.C.’s regional colleges.

So students get turned away from Kwantlen, or can’t get into the courses they want; and people who need to upgrade their skills aren’t given the opportunity to do so.

Surrey’s motto – ‘The Future Lives Here’ – can’t come true if this underfunding continues.

It’s time to fix this inequity. It’s time to ensure all people in Surrey are able to get the education they need for good jobs and healthy, productive lives; so they can contribute to the economic and social health of our region – and our province.

Will we hear some good news about this soon?

Geoff Dean, Surrey