Education must be a top priority

Columbia River - Revelstoke MLA, Norm Macdonald, talks about education in British Columbia

For those of you who have ever had a conversation with me about education, you know that I am passionate about the public school system.  Before being elected as your MLA, I worked as a teacher and a principal.

I believe that a quality public education system is society’s greatest equalizer.  Ensuring that every child has access to quality education provides opportunity to all.

There is no question that we do not get anywhere without hard work.  But without the chance to learn, even the hardest working will not reach their full potential.

Part of my time as an educator was spent in Africa where parents make huge sacrifices to pay for their children’s schooling.  These parents know they must give up their own comforts to give their children opportunities for real success.

In Canada, we’ve decided to pool our resources and to give the provincial government the mandate to provide education for our children.  We’ve agreed that regardless of financial status, every child should have access to education.

But the responsibility still sits with voters to make it clear to government that education must be a top priority.  Those who have children in the education system, or who work within the system, have felt the effects of 12 years of a government that has not put the public education system first.

We all understand that we must live within certain financial constraints.  But when I speak with voters, I consistently hear that for them education is a top priority.  That means that education funding should be near the very top of our funding priorities.

So as our children return to school this week, we need to be thankful that we live in a society that provides education to all children.  But it is through our choices at election time that voters indicate to government just how important it is to fully fund our education system.