LETTER: Surrey’s school district woes not the end of the world

To the editor:

It seems that school crowding due to lack of funding is a surprise that the school board has been keeping a secret (why they would is beyond me).

Fact: There has been no provincial funding since 2005. Provincial funding is reactive rather than proactive. We have to have the students before we get the schools.

Fact: the school board is moving into a brand new head office because it has been in the works for years – to put it off (again) would cost Surrey more money because of rising inflation. Also, the school board is not unfamiliar with portables, since their payroll, human resources and health and safety offices are all in portables beside their current, beautiful cinder block head office building by City Hall.  No kidding – go see for yourself.

Fact: Surrey district rents office space all over Surrey. Because of this an employee has to cross Surrey multiple times to get work done. Liken this to a living arrangement where you sleep in one spot, walk three blocks to the kitchen and a mile to the bathroom. With a centralized space the employee can now cross the hall rather than the city. Savings for all.

Fact: Surrey School District did have open houses and workshops – I know because I attended. I knew about them because I attend PAC meetings where the information is available. Yes, the district could advertise in the papers, but that costs extra. The workshops were run by the school councillors and were attended by principals, teachers, parents and even students.

Have you ever attended a PAC meeting or checked out their website? Have you read the school newsletter? The newspaper reports? It’s all there.

Get informed and most importantly, take all of the premier wannabees to task about our situation and challenge them to find a solution. Write to your MLA – I’m sure if you look at your PAC website the information is there.

I understand that change is uncomfortable but it is not the end of the world.

Many places have to cope with overcrowding. Manitoba, for example, has had staggered school hours for years and their kids are surviving. Ours will, too. Help find solutions; we’re all in this together.


Margaret Shearman