Growing class sizes and slashed special needs services mean that all students face increased obstacles to learning right inside their classrooms. Vulnerable students with special needs, who should benefit from eliminated staff positions and other resources, suffer even more. Teachers are fighting to defend them.
Gordon Campbell’s Liberal government illegally stripped negotiated language on class size and composition out of teachers’ contracts over a decade ago. Despite two B.C. Supreme Court rulings declaring this unconstitutional, Christy Clark’s Liberal government refuses to reinstate the language, alleging that it would be too costly. That cost, not teachers’ reasonable salary demands, stalls a settlement in the current dispute.
But there’s plenty of money available for oil and gas pipelines, coal mining and export expansion, fracking, a liquefied natural gas industry, and the Site C Dam. Help for our children is too expensive, but billion-dollar subsidies are available to fossil fuels, the richest industry in history — and one that accelerates climate change and its multiplying disasters.