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LETTER: SD61 budget cuts will hurt kids most in need

I’m writing to urge SD 61 to reconsider the proposed budget cuts to school music programs, counsellors, and career coordinators.

These programs benefit all students, but particularly those who do not have access to these resources outside of school. Students of higher socioeconomic status are more likely to have private music lessons and counselling support, as well as parents who are able to guide them toward their career goals.

One of the crucial functions of public education is to level the playing field and equip all students to participate in society. Money invested in students now means money saved later: healthy, functioning adults use fewer resources in the health and criminal justice systems.

Additionally, gender discrimination would be an effect of the proposed cuts, as the majority of counselling and career coordinator positions are filled by people who identify as women.

I realize the district is faced with a budget shortfall. However, I urge the district to pressure the provincial government for more funding instead of unloading the burden of debt onto the backs of vulnerable students and staff.

Janet Millar

Oak Bay