Funding boost for Langley schools

Local district posted second-highest growth rate in the province

  • Dec. 21, 2016 8:00 a.m.

Mike Bernier

The B.C. government is giving more money to school districts that saw student enrolment grow this year.

And that includes the Langley School District, which saw 697 more students this year, bringing its total to 19,921, the second-biggest increase in B.C.

Education Minister Mike Bernier announced a total of $46.7 million will be divided among 42 school districts that saw growth in 2016.

Eighteen districts saw their student numbers decline.

A total of of 5,676 more students were added to elementary, middle and high schools across the province this year.

“B.C.’s strong economy is attracting families from other provinces and other countries – and this means new students in our school system after years of decline,” Bernier said.

The districts with the highest growth were Surrey (993 more students), Langley (697), Sooke (572), Abbotsford (484), Richmond (473), Comox (427) and Central Okanagan (421).

The funding boost maintains the provincial commitment to keep the average per-pupil rate the same as it was at the start of the school year, which it says helps districts with their financial planning.

Currently, there are 532,113 full-time equivalent students enrolled in B.C.’s public schools.

According to the ministry, as of September, 1, 672 students had refugee backgrounds, with 500 of them being newly identified refugees.

A total of 330 were from Syria.

Despite recent increases, enrollment in public schools in B.C. is 55,000 students lower than it was in 2001, largely driven by declining birth rates.

-with files from Black Press

 

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