Another View: Everything goes up except wages

Proposed two-week spring break is not popular with parent

Oh dear. The school board is at it again, proposing a two-week spring break.

They tried to pass it last year; it failed. So, like the perpetual threat of a Quebec Referendum, the mantra appears to be “Try, try, try again.”

This proposal is the ultimate “trickle-down” in taxes. I feel for the underfunded system and everyone who has to work within it. But many parents — self included — simply cannot afford this additional tax.

Municipal taxes are going up, healthcare taxes are going up, transportation costs are going up, postage is going up (where’s the background violin?). For many working folk in B.C., non-existent pay raises do not match the steady increases in costs of living.

The purchasing power for B.C. citizens erodes with each passing year, and the implementation of a two-week spring break accelerates the erosion significantly. A two-week spring break means parents take time off work (and many only get two weeks a year) or throw more money at child care.

The suggestion that teachers will add a couple of minutes a day is laughable when compared to the kick in the wallet parents of school-aged children face. The burden of the costs of education should be born by all. Isn’t that why we pay taxes? Engaging in a gradual shift to user-pay is misguided and ultimately is irreversible. The real target should be the governments that have been making the euphemistic “tough decision” and hacking away at the funding for our education system.

The easy finger-in-the-dyke fix is to pass the costs onto the parents. The long-term fix is to educate the masses, get people to vote, and get rid of the current obtuse leadership (am using my inside words here). And, really truly demonstrate the power of education: lead the charge by example.

Tuesday, Mar. 25 is the final day to register opposition (or, if you are so inclined, support) for a two-week spring break. Email Assistant Superintendent, Roberta Kubik at  rkubik@sd62.bc.ca to register your thoughts.

 

Britt Santowski is a reporter for the Sooke News Mirror.

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