Surrey Board of Education Budget Committee Chair Terry Allen (right) was pleased to learn Surrey will be receiving more than $3 million in administrative savings. The windfall was announced by B.C. Education Minister Mike Bernier at Holly Elementary School on Tuesday morning.

Surrey School District gets $3M in administrative savings; Delta receives $690K

School districts across B.C. to share $25 million.

Recent belt-tightening by school districts across the province has resulted in $25 million in administrative savings, and now each board of education will get a share of the pie.

Education Minister Mike Bernier made the announcement on Tuesday morning at Surrey’s Holly Elementary School, where he said the Surrey School District will get $3.12 million.

The Delta School District will receive $690,188 in returned savings.

“I want to start by thanking the school districts for all the hard work they’ve done, in districts right across the province of B.C.,” Bernier said.

The minister added that trustees in each district will decide how to allocate the funds.

“From busing, new teachers, new school programs, even keeping a school open, it will allow school districts to make those decisions,” he said.

For Surrey Board of Education Budget Committee Chair Terry Allen, learning that the administrative savings will be returned to the district was welcome news.

According to Allen, the money could be used to enhance programs, upgrade outdated computers and iPads for the students, and pay for more special education assistants and teachers.

“The truth of the matter is, we were facing a deficit of $4 million. This is money that we wouldn’t have had,” said Allen. “No matter what people say, that it’s our own money coming back, we had already budgeted that out of the budget.”

The money will allow the Surrey board to revisit the list of needed school enhancements and put some of those enhancements back on the table.

“It’s a good news story. We can do things (in Surrey schools) that before today, we couldn’t have done,” Allen said.

Still, he acknowledged the district is facing challenges in the bigger picture.

When it comes to B.C.’s funding model for building new schools, Allen believes things need to change.

The current method of the district being unable to apply for capital funding until the students are already in an overcrowded school is “ludicrous,” Allen said.

“What do you say to a parent who chooses Surrey… that they’re across the road from this school, and I have to tell them they can’t come to this school,” he said. “That’s the reality of what the board of education is facing and people need to adjust to that and make the appropriate changes as to how the capital is distributed. The system is broken.”

Last week, Surrey city and school district officials said they will craft their own school construction plan and present it to the province.

– with files from Martin van den Hemel

 

Just Posted

ELECTION QUESTIONS: How do candidates form their opinions on transit in Surrey?

Who is on the right side of Surrey’s transit debate? That’s for voters to decide come Oct. 20.

Surrey wants BNSF to slow Crescent trains

Mayor Linda Hepner said ‘it’s the least we can do’

Rail-safety forum planned for White Rock this Friday

Event to include municipal, federal, provincial governments

White Rock open house to discuss city’s aquifer protection plan

Examination of potential hazards includes increased population, climate change

‘Connecting Threads’ and more in Surrey Art Gallery’s fall shows

Free admission at opening reception and panel discussion Sunday afternoon

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

5 to start your day

B.C. parents sue after toddler dies in unlicensed daycare, vehicle explodes in Pitt Meadows and more

B.C. woman facing animal cruelty charges after emaciated dog seized

Kira, a Rottweiler, had kidney and bladder infections

Kim agrees to dismantle main nuke site if US takes steps too

Kim promised to accept international inspectors to monitor the closing of a key missile test site and launch pad and to visit Seoul soon.

Dozens speak at Vancouver hearing that could see duplexes replace single homes

The city clerk says 73 people signed up to speak at the hearing that began early Tuesday evening and adjourned hours later with 34 speakers still waiting.

North Carolina gov pleads with storm evacuees to be patient

The death toll rose to at least 37 in three states Tuesday, with 27 fatalities in North Carolina.

North and South Korea say they plan to bid for 2032 Olympics

Moon and Kim announced a sweeping set of agreements including a vow to work together to host the Summer Olympics in 2032.

Russia’s reinstatement after doping scandal goes to a vote

The World Anti-Doping Agency is due to vote Thursday Sept. 20, 2018, on possible reinstatement of Russia.

Ontario wins stay on ruling that struck down council-cutting plan

The province had argued the stay was necessary to eliminate uncertainty surrounding the Oct. 22 vote, and the Court of Appeal agreed.

Most Read