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Operating grants maintained, new funding for Education Plan

by NationTalk on March 13, 2012153 Views

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2012EDUC0022-000273
March 12, 2012

Ministry of Education

Victoria – The B.C. government is maintaining K-to-12 school operating funding at just over $4.7 billion for 2012-13, Education Minister George Abbott announced today with the release of the preliminary operating grant allocations for B.C. school districts. The grants will be updated when student enrolment numbers are confirmed in September.

Despite fiscal challenges and declining enrolments, the government is increasing funding in some areas and introducing new measures to support B.C. schools and students.In 2012-13, the Province will provide $10.7 million to help school districts introduce elements of the new BC Education Plan. Further details will be determined in consultation with school districts in the weeks ahead. Video – Education Minister George Abbott on BC’s Education Plan: http://youtu.be/QfTa7SAcpFY

As well, an $11.2-million Supplement for Vulnerable Students will be in place for 2012-13. These funds will go to districts where the number of vulnerable students has increased, supplementing the $51.1 million CommunityLINK program for 2012-13.

CommunityLINK (Learning Includes Nutrition and Knowledge) supports meal and snack programs, child and youth workers, community schools, literacy and the healthy schools initiative for vulnerable students.

Funding for districts’ differing geographic circumstances – including districts in rural and remote areas – will be increased by $21.8 million in 2012-13. This includes $10 million as part of a new Student Location Factor, which benefits districts located in sparsely populated areas.

Quotes:

George Abbott, Minister of Education –

“Despite the need for continuing fiscal prudence, we are protecting and maintaining overall education funding levels for K-to-12 schools next year as enrolment continues to decline.

“We are ear-marking money to help school districts implement aspects of B.C.’s Education Plan and bring innovative learning ideas into the classroom.

“We are also increasing funding to support vulnerable students to help school districts provide services such as breakfast and lunch programs and school-based support workers.

“Lastly, we are increasing funding to support rural and remote school districts with unique geographic factors.

“We recognize that certain school districts will face challenges in the coming year, but funding protection measures will help to minimize the impact of declining enrolment.

“The most important thing we can do to ensure we put students first is to maintain our net zero mandate as we work toward a mediated agreement with teachers.”

Quick Facts:

* Total 2012-13, K-12 operating grant funding set at $4.725 billion, an increase of $4 million over the previous year.
* Preliminary per-pupil annual funding is $8,491.
* School districts forecast 550,800 FTE (full-time equivalent) students attending B.C. schools in 2012-13, a decrease of 5,245.
* B.C.’s Education Plan has five key elements: personalized learning for every student, quality teaching and learning, more flexibility and choice, high standards, and learning empowered by technology. It focuses on maintaining basic core skills for students while developing key competencies such as critical thinking, insight and teamwork.

Learn More:

BC’s Education Plan: www.BCEDPLAN.ca

Provincewide enrolment and funding information for 2012-13: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/k12funding/

Fact sheet – School districts to receive $4.7 billion in operating
grants: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/news/docs/2012/fs_PreliminaryOperatingGrants_1213.pdf

Contact:

Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education
250 356-5963

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