By Murray Dobbin
The closure of public schools in BC has reached crisis level and is unprecedented in the history of BC. Enrolment has dropped in the past, and some schools are always closed in such situations, but the extent of the closures this time around is unique and the callous attitude of the provincial government has no precedent. The current raft of closures—150 since 2001 and 45 more scheduled for this year—is rationalized by declines in enrolment. But there is a much stronger driving force behind these permanent losses of schools and school property and that is the ideology of the current provincial government. The application of neo-liberal ideology (or radical free-market ideology) is at the root of this tragic loss of schools and the devastation it causes students, parents, neighbourhoods, and communities.