With files from Kyle Benning
The Vancouver School Board is releasing its report on the 12 schools that could be on the chopping block.
VSB chair Mike Lombardi says there is a long consultation process with the public and a third party facilitator before any school is closed.
“It’s important to reiterate with our policy, the earliest any school can close in Vancouver of any of the schools that have been identified, is September 2017.”
The board will review the report during its next meeting later this week.
Lombardi also says the board is being forced to make this decision because of the financial situation the provincial government has put them in.
“The government has chronically been under-funding public education. And in Vancouver’s case, we’ve tried to cut more than $80 million out of the budget over the past 10 years.”
Lombardi says the VSB is estimated to have a $15 million deficit next year after this year’s $22 million shortfall.
He also says that in order to continue receiving seismic upgrade grants, the school board need to adjust the district-wide student capacity.
“In 2015, we ended up signing a memorandum of understanding between the former chair and the former minister which basically said if you don’t sign and work towards 95 per cent capacity, you’re not getting any more money for seismic upgrading.”
Vancouver schools are currently at 84 per cent capacity.
Yesterday, petitions totaling more than 11,000 signatures were delivered to the VSB office requesting the schools remain open.
Read the strategic report in its entirety below.