Carole James MLA Report - April 2014

Growing up, I lived in a household that valued education. My family raised my sister and me, along with numerous foster children, to understand and appreciate the role that education plays for every child, for our community, and for our society.

My mum was a special education teacher for 30 years, and I remember fondly every August, excited for the start of the new school year, where we would all join in to help set up her classroom.

I saw first-hand the difference that education and supports for all children can make.

I saw the power of education to help create strong, healthy communities and happy and productive citizens.

Those were years that shaped the way I viewed education. When I had kids of my own, I volunteered as president of their school’s parent association, and then served 11 years as a school trustee.

For those who work in the system, including the teachers, the librarians, the counsellors, and all the support staff, our education system is a labour of love. They know that for our children to succeed, there must be adequate resources and supports. If we are going to ensure that every child can achieve to the best of their abilities, then every child needs to be able to learn, and we must understand that some kids need different supports at different times.

Investing in education is the best way to build a better future. A strong system helps build healthy communities, a strong society, and a strong democracy. And with our world and its challenges becoming increasingly more complex, well educated, creative, curious, caring citizens are essential keys to success.

An exceptional education system is also the cornerstone to building a vigorous, sustainable economy for British Columbia.

Providing the resources needed for instruction for all children, infrastructure, and programs is an investment with the best return -- now, next year and for the next generation. We also need more investment in skills training and to provide our young people with the most tools possible to open doors to opportunities for the economy of tomorrow.

However, it’s a message that seems to be lost on this government, and the numbers help tell the story. The B.C. budget, released in February, provides no increase in funding for K-to-12 for at least the next three years. Funding for universities and colleges is being cut by more than $40 million.

It is time to truly put education first, and not simply with words. Government needs to recognize the value of education, end their constant battles with teachers, and focus on working together to make a wonderful system even better.

An investment in education is an investment in our future. Society benefits from a strong primary and post-secondary school system, and when government makes our education system a top priority, we all win.

It’s a message I will continue to deliver at the Legislature as the spring session progresses. Our children deserve better. If you agree, please speak up, and help us to educate this government.

1084 Fort Street
Victoria, BC V8V 3K4
Phone: 250 952-4211

Carole James
MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill