Langley schools keep funds

Provincially mandated cuts have been returned to school districts

The Langley School District found $851,770 in administrative cuts and will get to keep the funds, the provincial government announced.

The province has said that the $25 million school districts found in admin cuts this school year, can spend the money as they see fit but expected it to go to “front line services for students.”

MLAs announced earlier this week that their local school districts would get to keep the funds.

“Langley School District has worked hard to reduce administrative costs and now we can return these savings for front-line services for students,” Langley MLA Mary Polak said in a provincial press release.

“Students will benefit from this relief if savings are directed towards supports for classrooms and front-line instruction, as decided by School District 35,” Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman said in the same provincial announcement.

The B.C. government had told districts they had to find $51 million in cuts over a two-year span to cover increased costs imposed by the province for salaries, utilities, and other increases. The province recently mandated a technology upgrade for districts with no additional funding. That is expected to cost about $24 million province-wide.

Salaries for non-union school district staff have been frozen since 2012, but an increase of two per cent this year has been approved by the province for some administrators.

B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Jim Iker said announcement shows the province is listening as an election looms.

“The return of this $25 million cut is an important turning point for public education as it shows the government is feeling the pressure one year out from a provincial election,” he said. “While the returned funding will not solve the funding crisis facing our schools, it will bring some much needed relief. Parents, students, teachers, and trustees need to keep the pressure up.”

– With files from the Vancouver Sun

 

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