Today I had the honour of attending and speaking at the Protect Public Education Now (PPEN) rally at the BC Legislature at 2PM. A petition of more than 11,000 signatures calling on the government to “Negotiate with teachers to protect public education” was presented by PPEN spokesperson Jordan Watters and grade 8 student Julia Pante to NDP MLA and Education Critic Rob Fleming. Rob will be passing along the petition to the Premier’s office.
A box containing thirty apples, representing a typical class size in British Columbia, was presented to NDP MLA Jenny Kwan. Twenty six of these apples were red and four were green. The green ones signified that in 2013-2014, 16,163 out of a total of 68,020 classes (24%) in British Columbia public schools contained four or more students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs). This is a 57% increase from 2007. Jenny will also be delivering the apples to the Premier’s office.
I was presented with a sapling apple tree that my office will nurture until such time as the government and the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation reach an agreement. Everyone hopes that such an agreement will reflect an adequate investment in public education and if so, the sapling will be ceremoniously planted so that it can bear fruit for generations to come.
Thank you to all who attended and especially to Marlene Rodgers and Jordan Watters for putting the event together.
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