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Hit reset on the budgets
The entire budgets from the feds and legislative, needs to be reset! Education and healthcare need to be made number one priorities instead of these elected officials spending our tax dollars on coffee contracts for the transit executives and private planes! Do we really need to spend 25 billion dollars on new planes for our air force or maybe do you think that it should go to building more hospitals and schools? Our children are the future of this world, nations, provinces, territories and cities! More doctors, more room in hospitals and our underpaid teachers deserve a heck of a lot more!

— Chris McArady
Make it competitive
I gave my children a choice between public and private school. We moved to West Vancouver to allow us to have that choice and at the same time a great education — because we have great public and private schools and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the parents are very involved. Having said that, I overruled my son's desire to go to public high school because I knew he would fall through the cracks and as a result fail and it all had to do with the number of kids in each class. I pay around 20K per kid per year (I have 3). I have the oldest car in my family because I choose to use money towards my children's education rather than new toys. My oldest graduated at the top of her class and is now going to a university in the U.S.

I think we need to make the education system competitive so that parents who choose to send their kids to private school and not public school shouldn't have to make that decision because of money but rather because the school meets their needs. We all pay taxes to support the education system, it needs to be fairer so that parents have the right to choose a better school — whether it be public or private — so those who choose private schools they should receive the same level of per child funding as public schools and parents can make up the excess. Right now our school gets $1,000 per child whereas the public school is given 5 to 7 times that amount per child plus they get a completely built school. Our school has a waiting list that is longer than the number of kids in the school — tells you one thing, the school is in demand. Why? Because the year my daughter graduated, the graduating class of 104 kids received over $3 million in scholarships and were accepted at over 300 universities all over the world and 102 of them went directly to post-secondary schools. The other two went to Africa to help and are now in school.

— Another mom
Teaching methods lack
I am a former resource teacher, well trained to work within the public system. But, the system is failing our students who have learning differences. Specifically, very few teachers are equipped to recognize this reality which exists in every classroom! Our children who struggle to read and to spell require other proven methods and they are available but very few know about them. It is so frustrating to those of us who see the "before" and "after" when students receive the kind of teaching that matches their learning difference. The sad result of denying this fact is that so many of our students, (who, BTW, are just as intelligent if not MORE intelligent than their peers) become disenfranchised and have significant problems in life which are a direct result of this lack of support. Thankfully, students who are dyslexic and who receive good support, graduate believing in themselves. Some institutions, (Nasa is one) actually seek these graduates out because they are highly capable thinkers. Part of their difference is that they have extraordinary problem solving skills. However, these students DESERVE our support in public education. Their success should NOT DEPEND on their parents' ability to pay for outside help.

— Rita Pape
Falling through the cracks
My son is graduating this year and I am so happy he is out of the public school system. He has a learning disability and when he was in grade 3 we put him in a private school which helps these children. This was very expensive but we have no regrets as the one on one help he received made a huge difference, as he was falling through the cracks when he was in the public school. He went to the private school until grade 6, then we had to get him a tutor which has been with him until now and all the support he has received has made it possible for him to graduate with confidence and goals. He went back into public high school along with doing some of his courses through distant learning and that really worked for him.

This is a success story, but not thanks to the public system but to the support he received from us, his parents. I feel so bad for parents who cannot afford to put their children in private schools or get them tutors to receive the help they need.

The bottom line is there is not enough funding in the public schools and class size and composition makes a huge difference for these children. There are so many that fall into that grey area, which is not allotted any funding. I also think that the universities need to start changing the programs for people who want to become teachers as they get next to no training on how to educate these children in different ways.

I do not know what the answer is, but children leaving high school who cannot read or write properly as they fall through the cracks should be a disgrace to any government in this day and age.

— A mom
Broken system
The reason we decided to send our son to a private school had nothing to do with the teacher's relationship with government but everything to do with the fact the school system itself is broken and unable to help 15% of the students. In fact it is criminal that kids can make it to grade 8 and barely be able to read through no fault of their own. We need a royal commission to look into how dysfunctional the whole system is and see how advanced other school systems are like Texas where all kids are tested for dyslexia, a word we cannot even use in our schools. It is time we brought our schools into the 21st century.

— Dwight Yochim
Education is an investment
Good education feeds the economic machine — education must be seen as investment in young people. Our society needs to change to a proactive one.

Look at the news on every subject it's reactive and opportunistic for politics. Our governance is not good. Free enterprise hasn't been real for a long time in BC — its BC government married to corporate lobby. The very first thing Adrian Dix must do is show good faith and pass the law on donations. The federal model is pretty good —  I do no believe taxpayers would mind paying reasonable points to parties to get the influence away from politics. The lobbying must be redone — I can help here. We need to reconnect government to people — education must be seriously reconsidered not brokered with any group or interest. A teacher with no math background should not be teaching grade 10 math — because that's all they got in that school for that subject. We need to go from 5/10 to 10/10 in 3 years in conjunction with skills training and not that stupid deal from Harper's government with business in the mix. Get the cost of student loans down — get rid of them if you must — and increase the charges to foreign students. Grow your own first.

— Glen P. Robbins
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