Public Education in BC

I’ve started paying more attention to the province’s education system since our daughter was born. And it does not look good. Public education in British Columbia is a mess. The BC Liberal government has been systematically dismantling the system since it was first elected in 2001.

Looking at the data from Statistics Canada is depressing. From 2001 to 2011, BC and Newfoundland were the only provinces to see cuts to the total number of teachers – but Newfoundland’s population was decreasing during that decade whereas BC added an extra 500,000 people. BC now has the worst student-teacher ratio in Canada, and it is getting worse.

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BC spends less per student than any province except PEI.
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Between 2001 and 2006, BC lost 5.9% of its teachers.
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From 2006 and 2011, the number of teachers in BC fell by another 3.2%.
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BC now has the worst student-teacher ratio in Canada.
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It’s the only province where the student-teacher ratio is getting worse.

 

The BC Liberals and Premier Christy Clark are downright hostile toward the public education system. They’ve torn up teachers contracts (then got in trouble in the Supreme Court), starved local school boards for money and forced school closures, and recently fired the elected school trustees in Vancouver. Not surprisingly, the Premier sends her own son to a private school (which receives generous tax support from the government), so she doesn’t even feel the pain she causes parents and their children.

We’re still 5 years away from sending our daughter to school, so there is time for the next government to fix things. I’ll do what I can to ensure the BC Liberals lose the next election. BC desperately needs a change.

Update to add a better chart from Nic Waller:

https://twitter.com/nic_waller/status/790387325993836544

 

3 thoughts on “Public Education in BC”

  1. While it certainly sounds challenging, I’m not entirely clear what the educator/student ratio fuss is if it is 6 educators per 100 students that approx 16-17 per class which sounds quite fabulous! Heck I remember from growing up in Winnipeg in the 70/80s we typically had many more students per class than that.

    You do NOT want to know about the abysmal state of education in India or the educator/student ratio. 65 students / teacher is not unheard of in coveted private schools in Mumbai where I now live.

    Not saying the direction and priorities aren’t a concern – particularly closure of community schools – but trying to understand why an average class size which sounds amazing in this part of the world would be an issue in BC.

    Like

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