B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming. (Hansard TV)

B.C. school district funding changes delayed until after next year

Per-pupil formula leaves gaps for special needs, Indigenous students

The B.C. government is taking another year to review its school funding formula to provide additional assistance for Indigenous students, those with identified special needs and rural and remote school districts.

Regional working groups will be established in January to identify needs, Education Minister Rob Fleming said Wednesday. They are to report back by the fall of 2019, but there will be no change to the formula for the 2019-20 school year.

The groups will include teachers, parents, administrators, support staff, dealing with recommendations that include a new way of financing school districts that have declining enrolment.

“We want to make sure all students are getting the supports they need, no matter where they live,” Fleming said.

The review committee made 22 recommendations earlier this year, including a formula to take into account long distances and winter weather for school districts. For the current year, 15 districts saw enrolment declines, while the rest had small increases.

The province increased its education budget by $591 million in the current year, much of it to pay for the addition of more than 3,500 additional teachers to meet court-ordered class size and special needs support levels. The education budget for 2018-19 is $6.6 billion.

As of September, there were an increase of 5,564 students in total B.C. public school enrolment compared to last year, bringing the total to nearly 560,000. The highest growth districts are Surrey (up 1,152 students), Central Okanagan (up 596), Greater Victoria (up 384), Sooke (up 373) and Abbotsford (up 321).


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Uncertainty continues to surround completion date of upgrades to Sidney’s Reay Creek area

A spokesperson for federal government could not offer a new completion date

Oak Bay police seek suspect who broke into liquor store on Cadboro Bay Road

The incident happened at 2:50 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17

MISSING: VicPD seeks 33-year-old man last heard from in August

Scott Grier could have been travelling in Alberta, police say

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Vancouver’s shuttered aquarium searching for financial solution amid pandemic

The aquarium needs about $1 million a month to cover its costs

B.C., Alberta sending nearly 300 fire personnel by Friday to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Some 230 firefighters, most from British Columbia but including a number from Alberta, will be deployed Friday

B.C. to begin publicly listing COVID-19 school exposure events

Move follows weeks of criticism from parents, the public

Most Read