B.C. rolls out $95 million to support all 60 school districts

VICTORIA – Government is providing school districts with a total of $95 million to help them extend the life of their facilities, put new supplies in classrooms and buy new school buses.

Every school district in the province will receive a portion of this funding, which is being allocated through four provincial programs.

Under the School Enhancement Program, all school districts will receive a portion of this year’s $53-million investment, supporting 223 school improvement projects. This program helps school districts extend the life of their facilities through of a variety of upgrade projects.

“Through this suite of programs, we’re investing $95 million so that every school district can ensure students have the learning environment and tools they need to succeed, says Mike Bernier, Minister of Education.

“These capital investments will help school districts save money, protect their assets and support student learning. I encourage every district to continue to take advantage of these programs to support their students and schools.”

“I can’t wait to hear what exciting new learning resources will be coming to B.C. classrooms for next school year as a result of the new Student Learning Grant. Districts will be talking to teachers and parents to determine how they can best use the one-time funding to help bring the new curriculum to life and cut costs for families throughout the province.”

Every school district will also receive a portion of $27.4 million from the new Student Learning Grant, which was announced in February. Districts will use the funding to purchase classroom equipment and supplies such as textbooks, lab equipment and art supplies. Districts will begin back-to-school planning with parents and teachers now to determine how best to use the one-time funding to reduce costs for parents and help teachers deliver B.C.’s new curriculum.

Fifteen school districts will become more energy efficient with a $5-million investment under the Carbon Neutral Capital Program.  School districts will use the money to fund projects that cut greenhouse gas emissions. These upgrades benefit schools by saving them money on electricity, natural gas and maintenance. Schools can put the money they save back into classrooms.

Students in 25 school districts will benefit from 71 new and replacement buses with a $9.4-million investment under the School Bus Replacement Program. The new buses will make traveling to school safer and more reliable for students.

As a result of B.C.’s strong economy and balanced budget, the Government of British Columbia is able to support record funding increases for students and B.C.’s education system. Budget 2017 commits an additional $740 million in operating funds over the next three years. Combined with $400 million in previously announced budget increases, this means an additional $1.1 billion in funding will benefit the K-12 system over the next three years. In addition, Budget 2017 supports $2 billion in capital spending to upgrade or build new schools over the next three years.