You are on page 1of 2

To: CC:;; robin.austin.mla@leg.bc.

ca Subject: Line 14 Bill 22 Date: Sun, 8 Apr 2012 23:30:44 -0700 Hounorable Minister George Abbott

Im writing to you today to express concern regarding your answer regarding the overview of section 14 and its purpose during the line by line debate.

My concern is that you neglected to answer whether government failed to fund the legislation of 2006, and further my concern is that line 14 of Bill 22 is a reflection of governments reluctance to fund legislation built around meetings with students, parent groups, visits to schools, visits to school districts and visits to dozens of classrooms across the province.

Hounorable Minister, I request that you address my concern with reasons, and further I request that you provide an overview of section 14 and its purpose, with reasons for Parents.

I have provided some of the points as written in the DRAFT TRANSCRIPT and they are not all of the points.

Respectfully, Reece Jorgensen

MLA Austin brought up that the 2006 Minister of Education had stated "With respect to class size and composition, this legislation addresses many of the concerns we heard in the Learning Roundtable, in our meetings with students and parent groups and, most recently, during numerous visits to schools, to school districts and, in fact, to dozens of classrooms across the province. All of our education partners have provided valuable input, and it is obvious that each one of them wants what's best for British Columbia's students." And that she had stated: "However, I do want to say, and I want to make one thing perfectly clear: this government has always believed that class size is important. We believed it was so important that we enshrined it in legislation and took it out of contract negotiations, where often students became pawns

at that table. We said, 'It's so important, we're going to make it law in British Columbia,' and we know that's important." The MLA R. Austin then stated that: Essentially, what was happening as a result of that legislation was that we enshrined, here in this Legislature, maximum class sizes, as the minister has alluded to, in terms of the different grades. We also said that there shouldn't be more than three identified kids with a special need, those who have IEPs or individual education plans. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY] But at the time there was a huge hue and cry because the resolution to that strike and the bill passed in 2006 didn't give the resources to the school system. So if there were going to be classes outside of that legislative mandate, there weren't sufficient resources to actually be able to construct those classes. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY] What took place over the period since '06 to now is that we have had this process kind of made almost a fool of, because principals would go to their teachers and say: "Look, I know there's only supposed to be a maximum of 30 kids in this class, or 26 kids because you've got more kids with special needs. However, we simply don't have the ability here in our school district to be able to enforce the law. Therefore, will you work with me and sign this piece of paper saying you're giving consent?" [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY] Would the minister not agree with my interpretation of why we've had so many grievances and recognize that passing a law and then not giving the resources to be able to actually enact that has created, essentially, chaos in the school system and an awful lot of time wasted, not just on James Dorsey's behalf but on teachers' behalf, on principals' behalf, going to endless grievance meetings as a result of his government's inability to fund their own law in 2006? You answer Hon. G. Abbott: I wouldn't agree with that at all. In fact, if one looks at the budget that was proposed by the New Democratic Party in the election of 2009. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY][1025] Just as the B.C. Liberal Party did, the New Democratic Party submitted to the consideration of the electorate a draft budget which presumably would have guided their spending in the three years following the provincial election. As it turns out, in that NDP budget was in fact $50 million less than what was actually spent by the Ministry of Education in provincial budgets over that three-year period. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY] I know it's always easy to say, and I know that it is always so enormously tempting for the opposition to say, "Oh, you've chronically underspent" except, apparently, when it comes to their own budgets. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]