"Don't make history a mystery" read one of the signs at a rally in Jefferson County, Colo. High-school students in this suburban district, referred to locally as "JeffCo," have been walking out of class en masse this past week, protesting the planned censorship of the district's Advanced Placement (AP) United States history curriculum by the local school board.
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For two years, 13-year-old Max stayed home while most children his age made their way to school in Quebec. Max and his mother applied to become refugees in Canada and while their application was in process, Max attended school. But when their application got denied, he was ineligible to go to public school for free and his mother would have to pay $5,000 to $6,000 per year. At the time, Max's mother, who cleaned houses to pay rent, could not afford the fees and so Max remained at home. Two years later, the family got their status and he attended school once again. However, advocates argue that being away from school has a long-lasting effect on the social and personal progress of undocumented children like Max.
Teachers in B.C. will vote September 10 on support for a union proposal to send the current strike to arbitration and immediately open classrooms for the new school year as soon as government says yes.
On Friday the BCTF called for the B.C. government to agree to arbitration as a way of getting past the impasse. The education minister almost immediately rejected the proposal.
The BCTF will still conduct a vote of all its members on whether they support the call for arbitration and a return to work. That way, if the government finally gives in to pressure to arbitrate, school can start almost immediately.
In another attempt to break the bargaining deadlock, the BC Teachers’ called on the government to agree to binding arbitration for compensation, benefits and preparation time. It would exclude the Charter of Rights issues before the courts.
At the end of the first week without school, teachers are engaged in study sessions and rallies around the province today Teachers have a chance to talk about the implications of this move to seek arbitration.
BCTF president, Jim Iker, says if the province agrees to arbitration, the BCTF executive will hold a quick vote on a recommendation that members return to work and reopen schools. BCTF policies require a membership vote before a job action can be ended.
As the dispute between the B.C. government and teachers enters its fourth month, families in B.C. are organizing actions to show support for teachers.
As the labour action continues and schools remain closed, a number of fundraising campaigns and demonstrations have sprung up to show solidarity with B.C. teachers.
Parents are organizing playdates for their children at local MLA offices. The protests are filled with colourful sidewalk chalk, games and storytelling are meant to continue until the teachers' strike is resolved and schools open.
Did the B.C. Liberal government just bluff on that $40 a day voucher plan or do they really want to have that battle over public education now?
It was telling that one of the earliest responses to the announcement came from a former top ranking B.C. Liberal. "Hmm. Did BC govt just take the first $40 per day step towards a voucher system for public education?" asked former Attorney General, Geoff Plant on Twitter.
Yes! Was the resounding answer from those who know what a voucher school system is.