Longtime public education advocate Jane Bouey on the teachers’ strike, the state of public schools in Vancouver and BC, and the Public Education Project
What is the state of public education in Vancouver and BC schools? Why do class size and composition matter? What is the context of the current teachers’ strike and the lockout initiated by the BC government?
In an in-depth conversation, former Vancouver School Board Trustee Jane Bouey discusses the state of public education in BC and Vancouver, provides the context to the current strike and lockout, and gives an update on the Vancouver School Board’s work on updating their sexual orientation and gender identity policies. A recent Georgia Straight article details the VSB’s work on updating these policies and the organized backlash that Jane Bouey describes.
Jane Bouey also explains the importance of local public education activism – and the yet-to-be-launched Public Education Project which aims to bring public education issues to the fore in Vancouver municipal politics.
“Childcare advocates estimate that 69 percent of Canadian children under six in family childcare are in unregulated situations that do not meet basic health and safety requirements and the ‘vast majority’ of Canadian children are now cared for in informal arrangements that are purely custodial and are not ‘by [any] stretch of the imagination “early childhood education”.’ […] Feminists have a long history of tracing and retracing (and retracing) the connections between valuing childcare and attaining the quality childcare that so many Canadians desire. I would be pleased if my analysis brought the two women with whom I began this essay to align themselves on the same side of a political struggle for higher wages for domestic workers. One way that I have attempted to do so is by arguing that middle-class Canadian women’s childcare needs are not achievable as long as wages for childcare are low.”
British Columbia faces a childcare crisis. How does this impact families in Vancouver and throughout BC?
The City talks with Sharon Gregson of the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and a former Vancouver School Board trustee about the CCABC’s comprehensive plan for an integrated system of early care and learning in BC – a publicly-funded, universal system. If adopted by the provincial government, the plan would provide $10/day full-time childcare to families and would be free for households with annual incomes less than $40,000. What would this mean for families struggling to find affordable childcare in Vancouver and beyond? What would this mean for childcare workers who work in a largely unregulated sector with notoriously low wages?
Correction: The 2012 living wage for metro Vancouver was incorrectly stated as $19.12 per hour. The 2012 living wage is actually $19.14 for both parents in a family of four (two children) to be earning hourly in order to escape severe poverty.