LETTER: Budget should reflect true cost

Government's current funding formula for education not working

An open letter to school trustees in this province:

I’m a teacher, but more importantly a parent living and working in Mission.

I am writing to encourage you to reject your school districts’ current budget for the upcoming school year. Do not approve the budget, but instead, submit a budget that adequately reflects the cost of running a school district.

In doing so, I know there is a possibility of being fired and replaced by an appointed government official. However, I truly believe this needs to be done in order to send a message to this government, that their current funding formula for education is not working, and that you do not accept their funding for your school district.

Also, it is an election year for school trustees. If you were to stand up for education, stand up for your local children and families of your communities and lost your job because of it, well, you would earn my outright respect and loyalty, not to mention the respect and admiration of thousands of members of your community.  Please do not be afraid of this government. Instead, think of the thousands of students who you are standing up and fighting for.  Think of their families, think of their futures.

I implore you to submit a budget that addresses class size, composition and increased support for special needs students.

More and more teachers are being laid off, more and more programs are being cut, and each year, trustees and school board staff must sit down and discuss where to make more cuts. For 12 long years, school districts have had to manage with smaller, shrinking budgets to the point where there is nothing virtually left to cut. The entire system starts to break down, and it’s the children, the youth of your communities who suffer.

Now, before you, is an opportunity to send a message to this government that their funding is not okay with you. You do not accept their level of funding and are not approving of it.

I fully appreciate how difficult a task it must be to deliver a balanced budget working with the constraints you are bound by, but it must be challenged.

Scott Susin, Mission

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