My sympathies are with the teachers

City councils come and go.Some of ours have been diligent in serving the best interests of the community.

City councils come and go. Some of ours have been diligent in serving the best interests of the community, some have been diligent in achieving their own agendas.

The bottom line is that in a democratic system, we get the government we think we want.

If we make mistakes we get to live with the results. I believe the public was better served when councils  had two-year terms, with half elected one year, the mayor and the others the next. Voters could, and did, express their opinion at the ballot box every year. It kept politicians on their toes.

Now councils (and school boards and regional districts) have three years to carry out their agenda. That can be a long time so it behooves voters to  choose very carefully.

***

While the civic elections are much in the news, the world  does keep turning.

We have the teachers versus the provincial government negotiations or lack thereof.

Our family has five students in four different local schools from secondary to kindergarten.

There may be issues with teachers’ actions in other places but the parents of our bunch say it’s business as usual in the classroom, no problems.

My sympathies are with the teachers. They are the front line. If the system is wonky, Education Minister George Abbott should have a look at what the decision makers in Victoria are doing, not the people in the classroom.

A report out last week said B.C. has the highest poverty rate in Canada. That includes children.

The report says the dollar-value cost of poverty in B.C. is estimated to be more than the cost of fixing the problem.

Mr. Abbott might check to see if it’s possible that our education system could play a role in “fixing” the problem by adjusting class sizes to fit the needs of all the students.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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