Loss of international students will hurt B.C.'s education reputation
Editor: I have sent the following letter to Langley MLA Mary Polak.
Perhaps you remember me. A few years ago you came to see me at the B.C. parliamentary teachers’ institute cocktail party. That was the first year you became a MLA.
Is it possible that you pass my message to the B.C. government?
Students and parents are getting increasingly frustrated in this teacher labour dispute. I am working with international students. We have 600 international students in our district and that translates to $6 million extra in our school district operating budget. If this labour dispute drags on, many of them will leave the B.C. public school system and they will take their funds with them.
They are allowed to get refunds before Sept. 30. Every school district has international students. I think Vancouver school district has about 2,000 international students with an extra $20 million income. We cannot afford to lose that much money in our school system.
Furthermore, if this drags on, the excellent reputation of B.C.’s public school system will go down the drain and it will take 10 years to rebuild it. The negative financial impact will be very significant in our province, as these international students not only pay tuition, but also bring business to our local communities. When they study in B.C., they live with local families
It is time for the BC Liberal government to have some vision to settle with teachers now. Do we want to lose hundreds of million dollars, as we have thousands of international students?Or do we want to spend a few hundred million dollars to settle with the teachers? It is a choice.
Investing in education is investing in our province’s future. It is time to put aside personal differences to act as leaders and to make a choice that is for the good of our province.