School District 85 will be getting a financial bonus, but some say it’s a decision by the province not to take away as much money as they had planned, not new funding. The BC Ministry of Education announced last week it is redirecting $25 million in administrative savings from school districts back into frontline services for students. SD85’s portion is $89,257.
Essentially, “the District will be able to keep the roughly $89,000 that would have been the Board’s portion of the “Low Hanging Fruit” clawback from the government for this year,” writes Shawn Gough, Local President, Vancouver Island North Teachers’ Association in a letter to the Editor in this week’s issue.
“School District #85 is pleased with with the funding announcement. The Board of Education will be working over the coming weeks to determine priorities for student learning,” said SD85 Superintendent of Schools Scott Benwell.
Education Minister Mike Bernier said districts can use the funding any way they see fit – for hiring new teachers, for programs, or for maintaining schools despite falling enrolment in certain regions.
“Our government is committed to ensuring that maximum education dollars go into services for students,” Bernier said. “We are giving districts the ability to invest in their individual priorities,” Bernier added. “This provides a great opportunity for each district to spend the money in a way that will best meet the needs of the students of that district.”