SOS Talk: An email list for Public Education Advocates

SOS-talk is an active email list dedicated to the support of public education. Many of its original members where active in the 2002 SOS Vancouver parents’ campaigg in defense of public education. At that time the provincial government introduced a series of legislative changes to education which including a manadated teachers contract an dincreased to the Medical Services plan, but they didn’t provide the funds to pay for it. In Vancouver alone the school board budget cut was 25 million dollars.

Vancouver SOS Principles

    * Public education is the right of every child and a cornerstone of a democratic society.
    * A high-quality public education system is an investment in the social and economic future of our society.
    * Government is responsible for providing adequate and equitable public school funding, recognizing the iffering needs and circumstances of children in all parts of society.
    * All partners in the public education system—parents, teachers, administrators, support workers, trustees, provincial government members and local communities—have a responsibility to work cooperatively in the interests of all children.

If you agree with these principals and wish to join sos-talk send an email message to owner-sos-talk@interchange.ubc.ca in which you identify yourself, state your level of invovlement with education, and any other details you feel relevant. Membership is reviewed but the discussion is open and unmoderated.Quote from the 2002 SOS letter writing campaign

We are a diverse group of PAC reps and parents trying to reach other PACs in BC, inviting you to join us in a massive, province-wide letter-writing campaign against proposed education cuts.

Our campaign began when Vancouver parents and PAC chairs came together to form an ad hoc, non-partisan parent group called S.O.S. (Save our Schools) – see attached Information Sheet. As parents we decided that instead of fighting each other for shares of an inadequate budget, we would stand up together and ask the provincial government to live up to its promises. We are currently collecting thousands of letters in Vancouver and starting to work with PACs and DPACs in other districts across BC to ensure adequate provincial funding for a quality public education system.

It is urgent that all PACs and parents who share our concerns act now because school districts must submit their budgets by late April. By collecting enough letters, we hope to convince school trustees and the provincial government to re-consider decisions that will hurt all our students.

The crux of our campaign is to ask the provincial government to fulfill its promises to make education a top priority and to protect education funding. Specifically, we ask that they fund the increased costs that were legislated, but passed on to school districts. We also ask the government to restore the funding that many districts lost due to their new funding formula, as this will force many districts to cut services or even close schools.

Additional background and resources related to the emergence of the SOS campaing can be found on the BC Parents for Public Education page and on the BC Society for Public Education page.

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