B.C.’s education minister says a review of the Vancouver School Board’s books by Ernst and Young shows there’s money to be found in the 10,000 empty classroom seats across the city.
Peter Fassbender says the board, which claims it is strapped for cash, can find $750 million in one-time savings, as well as, another $72 million a year.
“There are significant opportunities for the Vancouver School District to ensure that every dollar can be invested in students and not in empty classrooms. The report clearly identified that there could be upwards of 19 schools (affected).”
Avoiding seismic upgrades by shuttering schools instead
He says the $750-million one-time figure would come from avoiding seismic upgrades and maintenance on schools that could be shut down, as well as selling off assets.
For its part, the VSB says Chair Christopher Richardson was given a “high-level” briefing of the report on Monday, but trustees didn’t actually get a copy until Tuesday morning.
As for the recommendations, Richardson says he knows they have significant implications for students and families, and it’s the board’s duty to carefully assess those impacts first.