Former school trustee responds to Patti Bacchus tweet about Christy Clark

Jane Bouey doesn’t have any quarrel with parents who send their kids to private schools.

They do so for several reasons, said the former Vancouver school trustee. She respects that.

But things are more complex in some cases.

Like when it comes to Vancouver school board chair Patti Bacchus tweeting:

That was on February 4, the day the B.C. Liberal government announced that it is appealing a court decision that found it didn’t negotiate in good faith with public school teachers.

Bacchus didn’t name any names in her tweet, which was posted in the context of the long-running dispute related to legislation that eliminated teachers’ rights to bargain on matters like class size and composition. The law was introduced by now premier Christy Clark when she was education minister under then-premier Gordon Campbell.

Bouey was Bacchus’s vice chair during the previous term, and the Straight asked her on February 6 what she thinks of the tweet.

“The B.C. Supreme Court determined that the B.C. provincial government was trying to provoke a strike by B.C. teachers and that you know if that had happened, that would have meant that students would have been out of school, would have created havoc in the system,” Bouey said in a phone interview.

“That aspect of it is quite clear and based on the facts as we know them and you know, Christy Clark as premier, then she was minister of education when the bills that have been twice now determined to be illegal were put in place,” the former COPE trustee continued.

“And it’s true she has a child in private school,” Bouey went on.

“People put their kids in private schools for lots of reasons, but I think that is sort of secondary to the fact that we have a premier that has been willing to sacrifice the children and youth of B.C. for her own political gamesmanship.”

Bouey also said: “Patti has been an uncompromising defender of public education in the province of B.C., and I respect her greatly.”

Comments (12) Add New Comment
Will Vision use BC Liberal operatives-the very ones who helped bring in 4 more years of the education chaos Bacchus describes-in this coming civic election?

It rings hollow to criticize the Premier so personally when you are using her operatives in your own back room.
Rating: -21
I'm glad Patty Bacchus is standing up to Christy. Someone had to. They broke the laws, and are now saying they "disagree" with the ruling. It's not right.
Rating: +25
Jane Bouey
What was left unsaid in my comments was the fact that while I respect parent decisions to enroll their children in private school, I disagree with private schools receiving public funding. Especially while the public schools are starved and undermined by the provincial government.
Rating: +31
Ms Bacchus has been a staunch advocate for meeting every child's needs in BC public schools when it comes to class size, composition and funding. It's certainly a partnership and fact is that BC teachers are part of that partnership as are locally elected trustees.

I applaud her willingness to ask the hard questions and to tell us, the public, the facts. And that along with bargaining in good faith and ensuring constitutional rights are the most pressing urgent needs! We need educational stability for all of BC students, not just the privileged few.

The Premier will do what she wants in her personal life, and its a fact that she has chosen a private and privileged education for her son.

BUT lets not get distracted - this government has ordered public school funding cuts to the tune of approximately 1 billion dollars (according to government estimates to restore funding required as ordered by Supreme Court Justice).

Rating: +14
It's very hard to take the teacher's argument seriously, especially since they complain constantly on multiple issues. In the 10 years I attended BC public schools, there were three strikes, included one which lasted about a month and put considerable strain on both my working parents.

As far as class size is concerned, modern teachers shouldn't bitch about having 30 students. Think about how many generations of kids prior to 1960 were educated in 1 room, all grade classes with 60 students, 1 teacher and multiple grades. Yes, there weren't the same modern issues to deal with, but there were others specific to the time.

Also, the quality of those teaching in the public system is pretty low. You only need to be a C student to get into SFU's PDP program, and your student record isn't necessarily a consideration (I know of one person who was academically suspended who still got into that program). So I can't say I blame Clark for choosing a private system, because at least there are certain standards expected from the teachers.
Rating: -12
Claudia Ferris
Classic bait and switch - don't like what a person is saying? Don't talk about the issues they've raised, point out any imperfections about that person that you can find and talk about those.
I believe that our leaders should be putting their actions where their mouth is - ride transit, experience the public school system etc. Then they will know what the plebs are facing and won't be able to do a total disconnect from it in order to deliver party talking points.

Rating: +13
Natty, it's hard to take your arguments seriously, since you are so ill informed of the issues that you complain about.
How long has it been since Vancouver had a one-room schoolhouse? Do you think that perhaps there's been a considerable population increase in the past 100 years? Are you aware that the grade entrance requirements for a BA in General Studies (Ed.) at SFU is 80 - 90% ? Finally, are you aware that private school teachers are woefully under-qualified in comparison to public school teachers? They are not beholden to the same degree of teacher certification (the Professional Certificate) nor are they expected to undertake up-dating of their qualifications.
Rating: +9
Natty, private schools hire teachers from the same pool as the public system. They look for a teacher certification and prior experience.

As for standards, the public school has standards for teachers as well. Luckily for the teachers in the private system, their classes are much smaller, and thus they are able to provide a better education for their students.

Now imagine if all public classes were smaller; same teachers, better education.
Rating: +13
I agree with Jane Bouey. I don't think private schools should be funded at the expense of public schools. I also think Christie Clark believes in the double standard. One rule for her and one for everyone else.
Rating: +2
Christy is guilty of this disaster from the get go. Firstly as a Lieberal MLA, then as Min. of Education and now again as Unelected Premier. She is not only a witness but the cause.
Rating: +1
Marcy Toms
I want to applaud Trustee Bacchus for her uncompromising support for public education in BC and for having the courage to say what she really thinks. I am a retired public school teacher who attended public schools and universities when I was a student. So, I'm biased. And I admit it. As to the sense of choosing to send children to private schools? I don't think there is much. Sense, that is. If parents who are privately inclined think their kids will get a 'superior' education and the 'end product' will be superior to that of the public system, their preference flies in the face of the available evidence. Personally, I'm convinced that private schooling - and funding any of it from the public purse- is a blight on four of the key elements of the kind of democracy I believe in. These are diversity, interrelationships, egalitarianism, and secularism. My late father was a banker, a veteran of World War Two, a Diefenbaker Tory, and a staunch defender of a properly-funded public school system. It was kind of funny to see his hair literally stand on end when he railed against British-style prep schools and the snobbery and elitism he claimed they fostered. I think it must have had something to do with being stationed in the UK during the war and witnessing the intersection of class, privilege, entitlement, and education. Quite simply, he thought he was there, in part, to do away with all that. And, when he came home, he objected to seeing such "backward ideas" (his words) here. I know he would be shocked to see that things, at least in BC, have not improved. So, again, Patti Bacchus, thanks for all the hard slogging you do and for not holding back when it comes to defending our precious, and, unfortunately, precarious, public school system. I'm sure my father would thank you, too!
Rating: +7
Well the list grows;

education - fail
teachers contract - fail TWICE
hospital workers contract - fail
gas guzzling German ferries - fail
ferries in general - fail
stadium roof - fail
convention center - fail
stadium naming - fail
ethnogate - fail
Times of India - fail
S. Fraser perimeter road (year late and $270 million over)- fail
Christie unelected in Point Grey - fail
Christie "attended SFU" - fail
BC Rail - fail
stealing from ICBC - fail
MSP premiums - fail
treatment of paramedics - fail
run of river - fail
smart meters - fail
casino fraud - fail
HST - fail
Maui DUI - fail
Furlong - fail
absent legislature - fail

Please feel free to add to the list of failures this province is OK with.

Whoever voted these clowns in, needs their head examined.

Greed has eclipsed common sense.

Rating: -4
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