The Sooke district has seen the third-highest jump in enrolment in the province year over year.

B.C. holds the line on student funding

Sooke board chair pleased with status quo, cautiously optimistic about future

  • Dec. 28, 2016 1:00 p.m.

With 572 more students enrolled in the Sooke School District this year than last, the district stands to receive roughly $4.13 million more in funding from the Education Ministry.

The Sooke district has seen the third-highest jump in enrolment in the province year over year, with only Surrey (993) and Langley (697) increasing more from 2015.

Education Minster Mike Bernier announced last week $46.7 million more will go to school districts across the province, due to higher enrolment numbers.

The move will keep the per-student funding rate the same as it was to start the year, which in the Sooke School District works out to $7,218 per pupil. That consistency will help districts with their budget planning for the 2017-18 school year.

Sooke School District education board chair Bob Phillips, who in his many years as a trustee has seen a lot of “up-and-down” in funding levels from the various governments, is pleased the Education Ministry has “stabilized district funding.”

He pointed out, however, that such factors as pay raises for teachers or support staff that are written into long-term contracts, and the removal of busing revenue are not necessarily included in the per student funding model. As such, Phillips explained, subsequent years may find the district in financial trouble, even if the per-student rate remains the same.

 

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