SIMPSON: Surrey students deserve more than just ‘less worse’ when it comes to portables

The BC Liberals funding formula needs to change and public education needs to be a priority for everyone in BC. Click here to read the full article or an excerpt below.

 

The number of students in Surrey’s portables, including these ones at Fraser Heights Secondary, make up the 24th largest school district among the province’s 60 districts. / VANCOUVER SUN

But let’s remember a few things here. When Adams Road Elementary opened in January 2011, there were 262 students, 28 students shy of its capacity of 290.

Today, just five years later, there are 555 students enrolled – and even after the new addition, there are still 50 to 60 children in two portables.

And did you know the number of students in our portables (nearly 7,000), makes up the 24th largest school district among the province’s 60 districts?

It doesn’t seem to me that expansions like this solve the problem. They just seem like one more finger in the dike.

Plus, lest the Liberals forget, townhouse developments are popping up all over the area. So, where will we be five years from now? Can we expect another press conference in 2021, announcing yet another expansion? How many more fingers can we fit in the dike?

Remember, Surrey started the school year with about 275 portables. These expansion projects only reduced the need for about 15 portables. That means, being generous, we still have at least 250 portables in use today.

If the B.C. Liberals were really interested in fixing this problem, they would do so much more.

Rather than give the district just enough cash for Band-Aid solutions, the province needs to be proactive in how it funds our schools. They must change the school funding formula, which has left our city horrifically behind.

Even Premier Christy Clark admitted the formula doesn’t work. At a press conference last May, Clark acknowledged schools in Surrey are being built “after the fact” instead of when children actually arrive at the door.

SEE ALSO: Surrey’s school-funding formula could change, Premier Christy Clark says

Right now, districts can’t even apply for new schools until students are already inside the building. And it often takes three to five years from an announcement to the time the school is ready to open.

 

 

 

 

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