PG School District to Receive Extra Funds
Prince George, B.C. – More students mean more money for the Prince George School District.
Numbers released today by the provincial government show 42 of the province’s 60 school districts saw an increase in student enrolment. That includes another 117 students in School District 57 and 5,676 students’ province-wide.
The districts with the highest growth in numbers of students were:
- Surrey (+993)
- Langley (+697)
- Abbotsford (+484)
- Sooke (+572)
- Comox (+427)
Thanks to the overall increase, Education Minister Mike Bernier says “an extra $46.7 million…will flow to school’s districts with increased enrolments.”
“The funding boost maintains the provincial commitment to keep the average per-pupil rate the same as it was at the start of the school year,” which helps districts with their financial planning,” reads a ministry news release. “In fact, the record high average per-pupil rate will increase to $8,969 for this school year.”
The ministry is also providing funding protection to 17 districts with enrolment declines “to help mitigate the impact of those changes.”
Some of those districts showing a decline are located in the North:
- Quesnel (-28)
- Peace River South (-29)
- Peace River North (-108)
- Fort Nelson (-41)
- Stikine (-11)
- Nechako Lakes (-32)
Prince George School Board chair Tim Bennett says the extra money will be used to help the district “offer quality public education to students.”
“School District 57 is a little unique in the fact that we’re a decentralized model, so a large portion of the funding per-pupil goes directly to the school where that student is registered,” he says.
“And that is to ensure that at the school level, principals have the ability to make decisions that are going to impact students in their schools. The rest of that is used to support centralized models such as student support services, ensuring the schools are heated and maintained.”
He adds it’s also refreshing to see an enrolment increase (of roughly the same size) for the second consecutive year.
“When I was first elected, the district was in a continuing enrolment decline, the district was in funding protection, so this is a good news story. But as we continue to grow, we’ll have to closely watch the capacity in our schools to ensure that our schools can continue to meet the needs of our students.”
The provincial government attributes the overall rise in enrolment to our healthy economy.
“B.C.’s strong economy is attracting families from other provinces and other countries – and this means new students in our school system after years of decline,” says Bernier. “Our strong economy also means we have the ability to make investments like today’s and make sure every single new student if fully funded.”