Private school enrolment could increase in wake of teachers’ strike

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Private school enrolment could increase in wake of teachers' strike

An independent school in Abbotsford is feeling the effects of the BC Public School dispute.

Executive Director of the Abbotsford Christian School, Julius Siebenga says they’re planning for an increase in enrollment come September.

“There certainly will be more interest but we don’t want to be a school that comes across as a school that says ‘oh, the strike is really bad, it’s a horrible place in the public district, everybody come to our private independent school.’ That’s not the message we want to send, we want people coming to our school for the right reasons.”

Added Siebenga: ”If the strike is like it is today right before school starts in September, I expect we’ll receive quite a few calls, at least of interest and finding out the process of what it takes to register in our school and if there is space in a different spot.”

He says there has already been more interest from parents in the school than in past years.

The Coalition of B.C. Businesses has applied for intervenor status in the court case between the provincial government and the B.C. Teachers Federation over class-size and composition.

Neither side in the dispute gave any comment or updates over the weekend.


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  1. Given enough time, the Liberals will do their utmost to privatize the education system, therefore avoiding the hassles of dealing with organized labour. One only has to look at everything else that is pseudo-private to see the success. Gee whiz.
    Take BC Ferries and Hydro to appreciate the happiness oozing from the general public with the way both outfits conduct themselves. Only problems is how to justify the collection of billions of $ from school taxes. Hmmm!

  2. You know what would be so nice; if both sides finally came clean.

    BCTF Execs- “We will not sign any contract until the courts make the Libs pay for stripping language from our old contract, unless the Libs want to honour class size and class composition language”

    LIBS – “We will not honour class size/class composition language, and to prove our point, we will bankrupt every teacher in this province; until they pressure the BCTF execs to sign off on this issue”

    Forgotten players:

    STUDENTS – “What about us?”
    TEACHERS – “Can we just go back to work?”

    The Libs had no problem legislating teachers back to work in the past, why not now? Because they are trying to avoid the Financial Armageddon that looms with the court ruling on the appeal.
    My prediction: Hungry Teachers sign off on class size/composition first week of October. Students lose out on proper support for another 5 years.

    • Ya, why can’t we all just get along and be happy?
      Could it be because the self-absorbed BCTF is throwing their little tantrum and it’s just not working? The only way to stop childish behaviour is to let them wear themselves out and get to the point of realizing there’s a more productive way of getting results.

  3. Since the total number of students has fallen- the budget should be reduced but the dollars allocated per student should remain the same with an adjustment for inflation.

    I look at the Liberals tearing up of the teachers contract as a move to protect the BC taxpayer- it was the NDP that gave the teachers an over-the-top piggy contract just before the party was decimated in the next election. The move stank to high heaven of politics.
    At the very least there should be a means for taxpayers to sue the NDP over it.

    I see the court process ruling on the contract issue as flawed.
    The judge who made the first ruling should not have heard the appeal.
    It’s highly unlikely that she would overturn the initial ruling as that would be admitting an error of judgement.

    Class composition needs to be addressed. For starters I would suggest all non-English speaking kids be put in an intense language upgrade program before putting them into a regular classroom. Why not consider having a summer school program that can address it. One would expect many to be ready by Sept to be put into a regular classroom.

    • The teachers that I have talked to thought it was honourable to fight for a fair wage increase, class size, class composition and to fight against the proposed new salary grid that Libs want to bring in for new teachers (one that starts off new teachers at $35,000 a year and maxes out at $55,000).
      Now that teachers realize that this government does not care at all about class size, class composition, teacher salaries or the quality of the public education system; teachers are ready to throw in the towel and give the government what they want – A two-tiered education system.
      If the government was smart, they would now try to circumvent the BCTF, by throwing a carrot at the financially broken teachers to get the teachers to put pressure on the BCTF execs to give up on trying to win the class composition/size issue. The Libs are desperate to get let off the hook on the unconstitutional act of contract stripping. A decent signing bonus that costs the government a couple hundred million is a lot cheaper than the estimated 2 Billion they may lose when the court makes a final decision on the unconstitutional act of contract stripping.

  4. You insult my intelligence’
    I cringe every time I hear those sanctimonious comments , it’s all for the kids . it’s all about the teachers welfare , not the children . What has more massage therapy or fertility treatment or better extended benefits got to do with better education for our children or class sizes..

    Maybe it’s time for a relook at how we educate very troubled children, they may need to be in separate school or class rooms .A family member who is a TSA says those troubled children are taken away to the library or into the hallway most of the time when they act up.

    The elected government should take a good look at this , the present model is not working.

  5. The increase in private educational institutions is exactly what the Liberals have planned – make the public system so undesirable, parents opt for private schools. Funding private schools reduces educational costs to at least 50% of current levels. Children with disabilities or special needs are warehoused in what is left of the public system. The BCTF are so self absorbed they have not yet figured that out!

    • LorAx LorAx. PROOF! I keep on hearing these illogical remarks with nothing to back it up. If the BCTF (or even the NDP) is so distracted or stupid (after well over a year) haven’t figured this out yet, how has an armchair spectator uncovered this master plan?
      No doubt Iker is happy to see you try to float it again though. He’ll take any help he can get.

    • By the way, it’s clearly the BCTF that “make the public schools so undesirable”. When is the last year there was a strike or labour driven interuption at a BC independent school? The public schools seem to have this war almost yearly. They follow the same curriculum and ministry guidelines as public schools, the teachers are paid roughly the same, but the BCTF has NO input in the independent schools. Hmm. For those able to make the sacrifice, it’s not such an extreme decision any more. Even the staff is more content. I’d think if anything, the BCTF should be looking seriously at why the independent schools are gaining momentum and popularity.

  6. Yes indeed, it was and is a well planned plot by the Liberals to privatize education. It all started with the grand plot to get the Libs. elected, then get Cristie into the Education ministry.
    Then the plot got real good. The plan was to offer the Teacher the same as all other public sector unions, knowing full well that that would not work with the Teachers.
    The only way to blow the hell out of the ‘Plot”, was if the Teachers accepted the normal, which they knew would not happen.
    OF course along the way they paid off Mediators, Arbitrators, The LRB, and numerous and others. Just to many to get into, but anyway , you get the drift.
    Pretty damn hard to pull one over on these BCTF’rs

    • Your taking this further than I would, but clearly you agree that privatizing education was a Liberal policy. It was clearly unarticulated to the public during the election but similar to BC Rail sale and HST Legislation.

  7. LorAx, if you want to find out why the education is the way you think it is, go to the BCPSEA website and look at your demands, as of June 17.

    That is the problem with the system is YOU, the BCTF.
    Look at the record of your Union, do you honestly not get it??
    You are lead around like sheep. Try the real world for a while. Most of you have never been out of the school system and have no idea what it is really like to have to work to get a raise, etc.
    I know it is a waste, because you BCTF’rs think you know everything, but have a look at your demands. Then if you want you can explain how they help the Kids.

  8. Dwight, you are the quintessential Liberal troll, spouting off here on the comment section spin which seeks to undermine anyone who does not share your opinion. How much are you paid to write this “crap”?

    • And what you do is different How, Lorax.?
      Typical BCTF’r. My way or the highway. Go read your demands, then come back and make a comment, not just dump on anyone you disagree with.
      As Ron_26 say, show some proof instead of just attempting to belittle those who don’t agree with you. Seems to me You are the TROLL here.

        • Lorax, you come on this site like you are someone special, and that only your opinion is the right one. Who do you think you are?
          You talk about a Troll, but I noticed you appeared right after your union told all the sheep to get on the social media. So if there are any paid Trolls it must be you and your greedy BCTF’rs.

          I see no proof of anything?

          Did you review your Unions outrageous demands to try and understand why you are in the position you are in?? Yes or No
          Did you take a realistic look at what harm you union has caused to your “once” profession? Yes or No? (How silly)
          Probably not, just do as you are told, and maybe you will be seen by the Leaders of your Union. Who knows, maybe even a spot on the Negotiating team, as you seem to have the right stuff to fall in with that gang of out of touch lefties.

          • Getting a bit “steamed”? Class size and compositon, Dwight – that’s the issue in this dispute, not “greed” or the professional standing of teachers. On the later point, through the Liberal’s deprived teachers of their professional organization through legislation. But you probably didn’t know that!

          • yes Ron, for the purposes of this comment page it is proof. The memo is internal, you have access to it, take a good look, it was referred to in the Supreme Court Hearing. So not sure what you require. But that’s my opinion.

          • I suppose I could say there’s yet another “memo” that puts proper context to whatever your “memo” says. It explains that the first “memo” was just part of a brain-storming chain making a point as a devils advocate. No one could prove me wrong if I just said “oh, it’s really old and difficult to get, but it’s there somewhere”. But I won’t say this “memo” exists because I’d probably just be going on something I think I’ve heard or maybe just wishful thinking.