ZYTARUK: Is the real estate bubble costing jobs in Delta’s schools?

What's missing from the equation? In Delta's case, growth.

Abode

So let it be written…

 

Not only is this increasingly absurd run on local house prices keeping some people from buying their own castle, it looks like it might also indirectly cost some Delta school district employees their jobs.

Abode and livelihood, in one fell swoop.

Congratulations, B.C.

The Delta School District is facing a projected budget deficit of $3.38 million and is carrying forward a shortfall of $1.5 million from 2015-16. So in an attempt to balance its $160 million (or so) annual budget, as required by the provincial government, the district is looking at “making adjustments” and “staff restructuring” as well as expanding its continuing education and international student programs.

Oh, they have formulas, and say, with allusions to Dickens, that, as these are based on projected conditions and not absolute certainties, there may yet be opportunity to “sponge away the writing on this stone.”

But currently the black and white of it is, if the Delta school board ratifies the budget recommendations, the district could well be minus two full-time library techs, half a clerical job, six teachers and six to 12 education assistants. Joe Strain, Delta School District’s secretary treasurer, suspects the loss of any current teaching and EA jobs might be able to be avoided through attrition — retirement and such. We’ll see, I guess.

Across Scott Road, in that unwieldy beast of a school district that is Surrey, the board of education there expects to hire 50 more teachers and 100 education assistants despite going mano-a-mano with a $4 million budget shortfall in its 2016-17 school year.

So what gives? Is Surrey possessed of a magic hiring wand? Is it the valedictorian and Delta, the class clown? I mean, Surrey + budget woes = hiring, while Delta + budget woes = fewer jobs. What’s missing from the equation?

In Delta’s case, growth. Surrey, with well over 70,000 students already, has to handle an increase of 800 full-time students in September, including roughly 200 Syrian refugees. According to Surrey’s school board Chairman Shawn Wilson, the increase in students is equivalent to enrolment at two mid-sized elementary schools.

On the other hand Delta, with its 15,300 students, anticipates enrolment to be up by one student next year.

One.

So why is Surrey hiring while Delta is not? “They are a growing district,” Strain notes, “so they have to.”

Hey, North Delta is a nice community. I grew up there. So why isn’t its school enrolment growing like Surrey’s, on the other side of Scott Road.

It has to be that housing is cheaper — and I’m speaking in relative terms here — in Surrey than it is in North Delta. The municipality and city are separated only by a road, for goodness sakes.

And so, it seems to me, if this zeppelin-sized real estate bubble doesn’t pop, or at least leak a little here and there, the many regular folk will continue to be displaced by the fewer rich and richer, who can still afford to buy property in the land of the Sungod. This results, as I see it, in dropping enrolment and, tragically, job loss.

We need to fix this.

 

So let it be done…

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cloverdale automobile shop offers to pick up, service, and drop off vehicles

Surrey’s Visscher-Pau Automotive starts ‘Blue Glove’ valet service — will cover Cloverdale, Langley, Newton, Fleetwood, and Hazelmere

White Rock brewery turns up the (alcohol by) volume in COVID-19 fight

3 Dogs Brewing is making hand sanitizer for frontline workers, general public

Surrey RCMP looking for ‘distraction theft’ suspect

Suspect allegedly tried to swipe a man’s necklace while giving him a hug

1,000 food hampers packed for delivery to students of Surrey’s inner-city schools

City Dream Centre-led initiative involved volunteer effort at Horizon Church in Newton

Surrey councillor wants property taxes deferred to December

Linda Annis is expected to present notice of motion to that effect at April 6 “virtual” council meeting

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

Fraser Valley auto sound business starts producing face shields

Certified Auto Sound & Security is doing what it can to help frontline healthcare workers.

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

Most Read