Imagine you and your family of 12 live in a home meant for a family of 5.
Imagine that you win a government grant that will allow you to build a bigger home.
But you can only get the money under certain conditions.
You will have to provide documented proof that your house is over-crowded by showing that every room, including the bathroom, the kitchen, and all the closets, are always in use, 24/7.
You will have to guarantee that none of the 12 family members will move out in the next 5 years.
And you will also have to guarantee that the new house will be ready for occupancy within 3 months despite the builders telling you that they need 9 months to build the home.
Given these conditions, would you believe that the government had any intention of actually providing the grant in the first place?
Well, imagine how teachers feel because this analogy describes how the Ministry of Education is going about implementing the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in at least two districts with overcrowded schools.
The Ministry says they’ll provide more classroom space in the form of portables but only if the District can prove the overcrowding by 28 April and also if the District can guarantee that the portables will be ready on 1 September.
They demand that all these conditions be met despite knowing full well that in order for portables to be ready by September, they should have been ordered by February this year.
Yes, the Ministry is complying with the Supreme Court ruling.
Just not in a way that will actually work for students in overcrowded classrooms.
For more details about this travesty, please read this piece by Laura Barker, First Vice President of the Surrey Teachers Association.