Vulnerable Surrey students treated like ‘second-class citizens’

Board of education requests $2-million grant to address longtime CommunityLINK funding inequity.

Surrey Board of Education chairperson Laurae McNally.

Vulnerable students and their families are being treated like “second-class citizens,” says Surrey’s Board of Education, which is asking for a one-time, $2-million grant to compensate for a flawed funding formula that has seen local kids shortchanged for more than a decade.

In one of its most strongly worded statements of late, the local school board says that despite repeated assurances from the last five Liberal education ministers, the government has “refused to change” the CommunityLINK funding formula.

CommunityLINK helps pay for things such as meals for low income students, initiatives at inner-city schools, counselling for at-risk children and youth, and community schools partnerships that run after-school programs.

The Surrey School District is B.C.’s largest with more than 12 per cent of the province’s total public school enrolment, but on a per student basis, only receives a fraction of the CommunityLINK funding provided many other districts.

For example, while Vancouver, which is smaller than Surrey, receives about $8.7 million annually, Surrey gets about $3.7 million. Victoria, with a third the number of students, receives about the same amount as Surrey.

This year, it’s estimated about $400,000 will have to be taken from Surrey’s general operating budget to supplement the school meal program alone.

Laurae McNally, chair of the board of education, says the government should be ashamed and is calling on the Liberals to make good on its promise to make families a priority.

“We believe it is fair and reasonable to ask the provincial government to provide our district a one-time grant of $2 million to put families first and ensure our students will not have to bear the brunt of yet another year of CommunityLINK funding inequity,” says McNally. “This one-time grant assumes the government will act to address the inequity in time for the following school year.”

 

Just Posted

What the 2016 Census tells us about Surrey

The City of Surrey, by the numbers

City removes signs opposing housing development at Surrey golf course

While opponents claim political interference, City of Surrey says signs were not lawfully erected

ZYTARUK: Only the truth, and nothing but

Lying hurts all of us. You, me, them. All of us.

Brother of teen killed by stray bullet in Vancouver says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down while on his way home from dinner with his family

Make and break New Year’s ‘WrestleLutions’ this Saturday

Cloverdale-based All Star Wrestling presenting full line up Saturday, Jan. 27

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Movie filmed in Castlegar B.C. opens Friday

Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron will be playing in select cinemas.

Semi rollover on Highway 3

Highway 3 is reduced to single-alternating lanes

Cougar window shops at Banff grocery store

An RCMP officer spots a cougar outside an Alberta grocery store

Most Read