Dear Ms. MacDiarmid:
This is a follow-up to my April 9, 2010, letter regarding the funding shortfalls of the Vancouver School Board.
At the time I wrote to ask you to provide more money. I have to admit, however, that I wasn’t sure whether the fault lay with the government or the school board. I was brought up listening to my dad’s views on politics (ie. “everyone’s a crook”) and I often find it difficult to parse the propaganda and decide who’s actually right.
So, it was with great interest that I read the recommendations of your special advisor.
Ms. MacDiarmid, I am now firmly on the side of the Vancouver School Board. I can’t believe the irony of implementing huge rent increases for preschool and after-school care organizations operating out of facilities such as my local elementary school, while, at the same time, marketing full-day kindergarten as a solution to early childhood needs.
Another one of my dad’s favorite phrases is “I’m not the most educated man, but any idiot can see…”
In the end, it doesn’t really matter whether the school board or the government is responsible for the funding shortages. My children shouldn’t have to pay the price. My son is signed up for preschool in a facility that would be affected by such ridiculous rent changes. And once again, I would like to remind you that my daughter attends class in the basement of a 100-year-old building, with a horrific earthquake rating, broken windows that the school can’t afford to fix, and classrooms that function only because of the fundraising abilities of a highly dedicated PAC – and this is in the premier’s own riding.
Ms. MacDiarmid, you have succeeded in one thing. Yes, you’ve accomplished something that 17 years of fatherly lectures, five years of university, and countless family visits couldn’t do: you have convinced me that my dad was right all along.
I hope you will reconsider your current funding plans.