SB Q8: 20 Questions for Langley School Board candidates

 

Megan Dykeman (Township) – No. Our school district is facing the same challenges as other school districts in the province; rising costs are not being matched with funding increases. This is the same reality individual families face every day. When funding levels are either frozen or declining and costs are increasing, even if due to nothing more than inflation, it is impossible to continue for a lengthy period, without the result becoming obvious.

Trudy Handel (Township) – No. Class size and composition is still the number one problem in our education system. Until that is solved – and it won’t be solved without the province – the issue is just going to get worse. Everyone is stressed – students, teachers and parents.  Now the Township of Langley is being hit with a double whammy – we have the existing class size and composition problem and we’re being told there will be no new schools – even as our north slope population of school age children explodes.

Kristine Ketter (Township) – No. It is very clear that schools are not currently being fully funded by the provice. There has not been an increase in the per pupil funds received and yet the Ministry is expecting school district to take on more cost pressures.

Suzanne Perreault (Township) – The school district has gone through some incredible changes in the last few years by ways of seeing new staff members come in at the District level, interfacing with a deficit to clear up and a Trustee campaign. In the midst of it all they rose up and shown themselves to be good stewards of funding and their respective roles.  However, I would like to see more attention paid to the Level I, II & III Special Needs designation and how monies are distributed and allocated to schools. That will be an area I will continue to pay attention to.

Rod Ross (Township) – Yes. A wealthy friend once said to me, “It not how much money you make, it’s what you do with the money you make.” I am not in favour of being angry at Victoria for what it sends us each year in block funding. Sure I would like more…but there has never been a year where we didn’t want for more funding! The operating budget every year eats up everything we give it and more. I have always been a proponent of revenue generation and will always be so. We have a successful International Student Program that generates millions each year. Add to it we also have the Langley School District Foundation with over $2.2 million in the bank to support our students. Victoria needs to come to the plate with its responsibilities and Langley must do its part to be prudent on how it spends what it is given. Remember the more money for education just means less for health and any other ministry. There is only one tax payer and we are paying very high rates of property tax each year already.

 

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