B.C. rolls out $95 million to support all 60 school districts
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,” said 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.
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.
- Including today’s announcement, government has invested a total of $153 million under the School Enhancement Program since it was launched in 2014. In total, almost 623 school improvement projects have been approved under the program.
- The Student Learning Grant provides one-time funding to help schools and teachers with the cost of classroom tools and equipment to support B.C.’s new curriculum. Of the $29.4-million grant, school districts are receiving a total of $27.4 million and independent schools are receiving $2 million.
- Each year, government spends about $5 million in Carbon Neutral Capital Program funding for school projects that cut greenhouse gas emissions.
- Each year, government provides about $10 million in School Bus Replacement Program funding to help school districts purchase new and replacement school buses to ensure students have access to safe and reliable transportation.