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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Frustration... trying to stay engaged but it's getting to me...

This week I have been kind of annoyed with recent events with the EPSB. A couple of newspaper articles about the EPSB making a statement about urban sprawl at the expense of children within the district raised my hackles. Not because I think urban sprawl is a non-issue, but rather because I do not think it is the 'job' of the school board. Their job, as I see it (as their employer and share-holder) is to manage the education of the children within the district whatever their postal code. An email and subsequent phone call with Dave Colburn, the Board Chair, to express my concerns did not alleviate my concerns. It was quite clear to me that he valued some children's education more than others. He also treated more like an opponent during an election than as a concerned parent within his district. Did not like that at all. I know I shouldn't let it get me angry, but it did. These are my children.

I will continue to do what I can to maximize the educational results for my children, but what frustrated me the most was the implication that because I do things like read and work with my kids, volunteer at my kids school, and provide an enriched environment for them, that the Board felt that they were less deserving of priority within the school system. I think all students should have the same things when they walk in the building. My kids should not have larger classrooms and less resources because of the 'extras' that I, and parents like me, do. I do those things to enrich, not to bring them up to a baseline. Will I stop volunteering and doing the work I do - No. But I felt like I should, because he made me feel like those things were the exact reasons why certain postal codes were not a priority.

Now there's an article about cutting positions due to lack of funding from the province. My fear is that the inner-city centric Board will drain more funds from the outside the core of the city and the larger classrooms will be from those less-prioritized postal codes. I have already had one child who has been in a 29 student grade 3 class and a 26 student grade 4 class (those are huge for elementary) and I have a second who will likely be going into a split class. My fear is that they will do away with the split and operate with a plus 30 student grade 2 class. Ours is a school (in a neighborhood that is over 25 years old - not brand new) that is over-capacity and over-compensating for those under enrolled schools that they do not want to close. So it is hard for me to feel sympathy for those who don't want to close schools. Your children are not more important than mine and nothing you say will convince me that they are.

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