Our esteemed Premier has now succeeded in screwing over children, seniors, and of course (and you know we were all waiting) the BC teacher's union. And high school students.
They've just cut large chunks of cash from the school district budgets, and simeltaneously informed the district admins that they have to supplement the promised salary raises from their own budgets. Previously, the provincial government promised to subsidize the pay raise. Instead, the Liberals have decided to refuse the majority of the subsidy, saying instead that the districts must find money for it themselves, to pay the teachers. I wonder where they *think* public schools get their money *from*?
This action has had many direct results - the first and most important of which is that nearly every elementary and secondary school in (at least)the Lower Mainland will be losing about eight permanent teaching positions. Meaning they'll be laying off (or "transferring") the people currently filling those positions.
The indirect result of this (the part that has my feathers rustled in a rather more personal way) is that most public schools that take part in the AP program (that's Advanced Placement for those not in the know - it's a program run out of Princeton that allows students to do enriched English, Math and Science courses up to grade twelve, and in grade twelve to take University-level courses, some for first-year credit) are now cutting it, because they can no longer afford it.
The provincial government has, as far as I'm concerned, just committed intellectual suicide for the next three or so generations.
I mean, why not? They've already thrown eighty-year-olds out of retirement homes, cut provincial pension down to almost-nothing, made it virtually impossible for elementary schools to have textbooks, fired nearly a third of its *own* staff, and closed a good quarter of the hospitals and courthouses in southern BC - why stop short of removing one of the only support structures that exist for shy and gifted school kids? Let's just throw them back to the wolves like we did ten years ago. I mean, kids are cruel, right? Boys will be boys, girls will be girls? Right. Who needs this pantywaist "Enriched" program, anyway? Let's just keep all public education at one mundane, mediocre level and all but actively discourage individual thinking and advanced learning. Who needs prodigies and writers and scientists and gifted engineers? Not BC, apparently. And forget all those anti-racism and anti-violence campaigns that we've just recently gotten into full swing (and that I spent THREE FUCKING YEARS helping to set up, beating it into teenagers' heads that it's *not* okay to say whatever you please without thinking once). We don't need those, right?
Gods. We might just as well have elected the Alliance. At least they were all talk and bluster.
He's a fucking Nazi, but without the good intentions, and not as socially conscious. So will somebody tell me why I can't just run the guy over with my car?