For the first time in 20 years, enrollment in B.C.’s public schools has increased.
“A number of those students have come back into the public school system from the private independent school system.”
BCTF president Jim Iker says the additional 6,600 students is good news but raises some important issues.
“The issue for us is whether these new students are going to be funded to the extent that they need to be funded. I know there is all this discussion which continues on school closures and the government I think needs to re-think the idea of funding and school closures especially now that we know there is increased enrollment.”
Iker says Education minister Mike Bernier told him last week that districts still need to find $54-million in savings combined between this year and next as outlined in last year’s budget.
“We were told that districts are still going to be expected to find another $25-million in administrative savings, which is really another $25 million dollar cut.”
He says that amounts to a cut at a time with more students and inadequate funding schools need more dollars not less.
The education ministry for its part says any district with new students will get almost nine-thousand-dollars extra per student.
With about 6,600 new students in the system that equals almost 59-million-dollars in extra funding.