Parents & Teachers Demand the BC Provincial Government Properly Fund School Classrooms across the province.
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With the recent events surrounding School District 61 and primary grade classrooms, the lack of funding for BC public schools has glaringly came to light.
Here is what was discovered.
During the last quarter of 2017, School District 61 instructed their custodians to eliminate the daily vacuuming of area rugs in classrooms. This affected all the Kindergarten to grade 3 classes as well as libraries, music rooms and even strong start program rooms.
Educational area rugs have become an essential tool not only for creating a friendly learning environment but also as classroom management tool. And like all physical things, rugs require regular cleaning to maintain a healthy environment for the kids who sit on them everyday.
The Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association thought the issue was severe enough to file a grievance regarding the school District's decision not to clean area rugs any longer.
This is when Stephen "Dusty" Roberts, owner of Luv-A-Rug, stepped in and had his company clean all of School District 61 area rugs for free (something that would normally have cost about $90,000.00 - see the Times Colonist News article here)
During the rush between Christmas and New Years to get all the rugs clean before classes began again, Dusty discovered the real problem the School Districts have - the lack of funds from the Provincial Government.
He discovered teachers have been quietly dipping into their own pockets and paying between $2k-$5k each year to properly outfit their classroom with much needed supplies and to even their area rugs professionally washed.
He also discovered this is not just a School District 61 issue. This is provincial wide problem.
In every school within BC that teaches Kindergarten and primary grades,the same complaint is heard: teachers are paying thousands of dollars of their own money each year to outfit their classrooms properly so that they the teachers can educate our children properly.
This practice has got to stop.
It's obvious the only reason teachers are paying money of out their own pocket is because of they care about our kids - and the provincial government has been able to take advantage of this fact.
If the BC government is willing to pay for the $600 million cost over run (so far) on the controversial Site C Dam project, it should also be willing to pay school districts a tiny fraction of that amount to properly stock primary classrooms with supplies they need for the year.
Currently all School Districts have a very limited number of funds to distribute to all their schools and are forced to find creative ways to save money such as not vacuuming area rugs. Fortunately SD61 has reconsidered it's position and decided that it was in the best interests of the students to have custodial staff do a daily cleaning of the area rugs with proper new equipment.
However the very fact School Districts are put into this financial position in the first place shows that the BC provincial government has it's priorities misplaced.
Please sign this petition to give the Honourable Education Minister Rob Fleming the message that tax paying parents and teachers are angry and want proper funding for ALL provincial public schools NOW.
This Minister in charge education for the Province of BC is...
MLA: Hon. Rob Fleming
Minister of Education
Room 124 Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
Phone: (250) 356-8247
Fax: (250) 356-0948
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