Families in the Vancouver Island North school district will benefit from improved transportation services thanks to $118,179 in funding under the new provincial Student Transportation Fund.
Education Minister Mike Bernier announced today that the Vancouver Island North school district will use the new funding to:
* Install GPS devices on every school bus to track student bus rider levels. * Provide more bus transportation to students for curricular and extracurricular activities; * Update bus routes to reduce ride times.
School districts had the opportunity to apply for the Student Transportation Fund from Aug. 10 to Sept. 30, this year. To be eligible for funding, districts had to submit a plan to the Ministry of Education outlining how they will use the funding to enhance transportation services for students and families.
The amount of funding a district is eligible for is based on a formula tied to the ministry’s student location factor, which is used to determine the rural makeup of a school district.
Districts will be required to report back on the outcomes and benefits they achieve as a result of the funding. The new $14.7-million Student Transportation Fund was announced in August to help school districts provide affordable and accessible transportation for B.C. families.
As a result of B.C.’s strong economic growth and fiscal discipline, government is able to support and fund projects that make a real difference in the lives of British Columbians.
“As a parent in a rural community, I know first-hand the work involved in getting kids to and from school,” said Mike Bernier, Minister of Education.
“The Student Transportation Fund will make student transportation more accessible and affordable for students and families and address the challenges that districts face – whether it’s the yellow bus program or working with local transit operators.”
The Student Transportation Fund builds on government’s recent investments to further strengthen B.C.’s education system and support student learning, including:
* $25 million of administrative savings returned to school districts to invest in students; * $2-million Rural Education Enhancement Fund to help keep schools open; * $28 million to ensure enrolment increases and labour settlements are covered; and, * $6 million to train teachers on coding and new curriculum and to buy computers.