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October 27, 2017 8:11 pm

Province Seeks Public Input on Rural Education

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 @ 5:58 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government is looking for public input into a new rural education strategy its launched.

The action has been undertaken by Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Education Linda Larson to better understand the needs of students, parents, schools and communities in rural B.C.

Kersley Elementary School

Kersley Elementary School

If you’d like to give your feedback you can do so online by clicking here until Jan. 9, 2017.

After that the government says a discussion paper will be developed and posted online for further comment, followed by several regional meetings that will be hosted by Larson. Stakeholder groups may also submit formal submissions to government which will also be posted online.

Victoria says all feedback will help shape a final report on an integrated rural education strategy, including recommendations for the future.

Rural education has long been an issue in this region. Last June for example, last minute funding by the provincial government saved two rural schools in the Quesnel School District from permanent closure.

Both Parkland and Kersley Elementary schools were slated for closure due to a million-dollar deficit the Quesnel Board of Education was facing but were saved with money from the newly created Rural Education Enhancement Fund (Parkland received just over $248,000, Kersley just over $282,000).

Schools in Giscome and Hixon have also been threatened with closure in the past but survived the chopping block.

According to the provincial government, about 32% of the students in the K-12 education system go to schools located outside of the Greater Victoria, Lower Mainland and Kelowna areas.


Really after 16 years just another strategy, give me a break.

Here is an easy fix to the rural public education problem that has been dogging the BC Lib/Cons for so long; how about increasing public education funding levels to something approaching the Canadian average? This government has been providing $1,000 per student less funding than the rest of Canada!

“Despite provincial government claims that education funding is “at record levels” funding has actually shrunk substantially as a share of BC’s overall economic pie, and fallen almost $1,000 per student below the Canadian average. Meanwhile, enrollment is projected to rise; the government estimates that there will be 40,000 more students by 2024.”

“School closures, disjointed one-off funding announcements and school board budget crises are not necessary or inevitable. In BC, the numbers show we can afford to invest strongly and stably in education. Under funding is a political choice.”

ht tp://www.policynote.ca/education-crisis/

    Fraser institute is spending not funding.

    Monies paid to school districts is funding, money spent on the system as a whole is spending. This includes building new schools or renovating older schools. Manitoba for instance spends 2.322 billion per year on education. One new school or multiple renovations can skew that number. They increased 551 million in 10 years. One school built in the right year of say 60 million would increase spending per student by 250.00. No system is perfect but schools in BC are funded per student and operational matters are separate. The Fraser Institute uses a simplified calculation of total dollars spent divided by the number of students. It does not differentiate between FTE and other students. They also do not remove private schools from the mix which are paid half the rate of public students which some other provinces do not have on their books.

Things that Christy and Katherine don’t get . The rural economy . Chatham ice cream runs a factory in Markdale Ont. and is in a steep expansion period and needs more employees . So what do they do in Markdale ? Close the only school . Chatham wants to buy the school for a million and lease it back for obvious reasons . From government ? Crickets . Do they need the kids in town because of the towns falling population ? I can’t image being a child trapped on school bus for hours out of every day . Are they trying to train kids to become commuters ? It must be mind numbing . It’s so wrong .

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