Surrey, Delta school districts still face budget shortfalls despite today’s provincial funding announcement

BCTF president Jim Iker says parents, students, teachers and trustees "need to keep the pressure up"

School funding announcement in Surrey on Tuesday

School funding announcement in Surrey on Tuesday

SURREY — The provincial government is rolling back $25 million into the school system and Surrey’s share of that is a little more than $3 million.

Delta’s is roughly $690,000.

The Surrey School District will receive $3,128,483 in “redirected administrative savings” from the provincial government for “frontline services” for students, such as busing, hiring new teachers, classroom programs and such.

That’s in provincial charges the school districts will not have to pay this year.

“We want to make sure every dollar possible flows into classrooms,” Minister of Education Mike Bernier announced Tuesday in Surrey. “I know the parents in British Columbia expect that.”

Jim Iker, president of the British Columbia Teachers Federation, gave credit to parents, students, school trustees and teachers who lobbied the government for relief.

“Public advocacy clearly works,” Iker said. “Parents, students, teachers and trustees need to keep the pressure up.”

Surrey school trustee Terry Allen, chairman of the district’s budget committee, called it “welcome news.”

Despite the announcement, the Surrey and Delta school districts still face a funding shortfall.

“Just two months ago we had announced an anticipated budget deficit for next year of close to $4 million,” Allen noted. “It is certainly welcome news to have that shortfall largely addressed.”

Delta School District, with a budget deficit of $3.38 million and carrying forward a shortfall of $1.5 million from 2015-16, will receive $690,188.

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com