Teachers concerned: Gordon Campbell & BC Liberals no-show at public education debate

    VANCOUVER, April 21 /CNW/ - Gordon Campbell was a no-show at an important
all-candidates meeting in his own riding. The BC NDP, BC Green Party, and BC
Conservative Party all were represented at Monday's forum on public education
at Kitsilano Secondary School, Vancouver -- but not the BC Liberals.
    "The governing party was notably absent," comments Anne Guthrie Warman,
President of the Vancouver Secondary Teachers' Association. "Vancouver
teachers are disappointed that Gordon Campbell or another representative from
the BC Liberal Party couldn't be bothered to attend."
    "The other parties are also busy attending events around the province,
but made Monday evening's public education debate a priority -- so why is
public education not a priority for Gordon Campbell?" asks Glen Hansman,
President of the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers' Association.
    Parents, elementary and secondary students, teachers, and members of the
public were in attendance, and all seemed upset at the BC Liberal's snub --
but perhaps it is clear why Gordon Campbell was absent.
    "The governing party has much to answer for," says Anne Guthrie Warman.
"Vancouver schools have over $40 million less to work with since 2001."
    "Funding to public education has not kept pace with inflation, nor has it
kept pace with the real costs of running a school system as complex and
diverse as Vancouver's," continues Glen Hansman, referring to a document that
the Vancouver Board of Education has released to parents and the public, and
which can be found at
    "Tonight's no-show demonstrates the BC Liberal's contempt for public
education, students in public schools and their parents," concludes Anne
Guthrie Warman. "Over 1200 classes in Vancouver are over the class size and
special needs limits set out in Section 76 of the School Act," points out Anne
Guthrie Warman. "It's time for a new government that will make kids and public
schools a priority."

For further information:

For further information: Glen Hansman, VESTA President, at (604)
813-5318; or contact Anne Guthrie Warman, VSTA President, at (604) 786-2651,
or anne@vstaweb.ca

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