SD5 and SD6 getting MOE upgrade funding
The B.C. Ministry of Education today announced it is providing $206 million to school districts throughout the province for energy upgrades, maintenance projects and new buses.
Included in this round of funding are the two school districts covering the East Kootenay, with School District No. 5 (SD5) receiving $1,759,287 and School District No. 6 (SD6) $1,838,071.
“For too many years, maintenance projects weren’t funded properly, and now we are providing school districts with increased resources to improve schools for students,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “This funding provides better instructional environments for both teachers and learners to focus more of their energies on student success.”
This year’s funding is a $20.6-million increase from 2016-17. It is broken down into five programs:
* School Enhancement Program;
* Carbon Neutral Capital Program;
* Bus Acquisition Program;
* Building Envelope Program;
* Annual Facility Grant.
Funds are also coming from the Carbon Neutral Capital Program for a LED lighting upgrade at Isabella Dicken Elementary, T.M. Roberts Elementary and Gordon Terrace Elementary and from the Bus Acquisition Program for the purchase of one new bus.
SD 6 (aka Rocky Mountain School District) is getting $1,838,071 from the School Enhancement Program for building an enclosure and accessibility upgrades at Edgewater Elementary School, flooring upgrades at David Thompson Secondary School and LED lighting upgrades at David Thompson Secondary and Golden Secondary. It is also getting funds from the Bus Acquisition Program for the purchase of one new bus.
Through the Carbon Neutral Capital Program, 19 school districts are receiving a combined $5 million for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency.
This year’s Bus Acquisition Program provides $13 million for 81 new school buses province-wide, so students can be transported to and from school safely.
The Building Envelope Program supports districts to remediate schools that have experienced water damage. In 2019-20, $8 million is allocated for this work.
In addition to these programs, the $115.5-million Annual Facilities Grant will allow all school districts to undertake additional maintenance projects that promote the continued safe and efficient operation of schools.
Funding for this program was increased by government in 2018 by $5 million, the first increase since 2004.
“CUPE’s K-12 Presidents Council is pleased that revenues are being targeted for the maintenance and much-needed upgrades to more than 50 school districts around the province. It is also very encouraging to see that safe transportation of students is a priority for this government,” said Warren Williams, president, K-12 Presidents Council. “Students need safe and inclusive learning environments, and this funding is a step in the right direction.”
Many of the projects supported under these programs will benefit school districts through saving money on electricity, natural gas, fuel and ongoing maintenance. Those savings can be reinvested in classrooms to support student learning.
Lead image: A SD5 school bus muscles along Highway 3/93 east of Cranbrook during last Friday’s travel advisory. Carrie Schafer/e-KNOW photo