In 2002, then Liberal Education Minister Christy Clark introduced legislation that increased class size, decreased the number of specialist support teachers, and removed limits on the number of special needs students in a class.
When the BC Teachers’ Federation mounted a court challenge, the government’s actions were found to be unconstitutional. The Liberal’s response was to enact Bill 22 – a virtual copy of the previous legislation – which, not surprisingly, was found to be unconstitutional in a judgment handed down by Madam Justice Griffin just over a week ago.
Over the last 12 years, the BC Liberals have played cynical political games with taxpayers’ money. Rather than adequately fund our public education system, they have chosen to spend money on a 12-year court battle, one that they have lost twice. What’s more, they are now considering an appeal.
Had the Liberals chosen not to arrogantly flout the constitutional rights of its citizens, a generation of students would have received the public education they need.
Let us hope that Ms. Clark changes her mind and accepts the court’s decision. It is, after all, the right thing for a government to do.
President, Fraser-Cascade Teachers’ Association