Yesterday, the Surrey School Coalition met with BC’s Education Minister Mike Bernier to advance their case on sustainable funding for Surrey schools. The Surrey School Coalition is a unique collaboration between parents, business, developers, homebuilder’s (Parent Advisory Groups, Surrey Board of Trade, UDI, GVHBA).
“The meeting went well. The Minister listened to our concerns and we provided factual information on the urgent need in high-growth education needs in Surrey,” said Lisa Garner (parent advisory council representative).
This meeting is a series of meetings that the Surrey School Coalition has been engaging in since the Summer of 2016 which include meetings with Surrey Mayor and Council and Surrey School Trustees.
A new funding formula needs to address growth, not just in Surrey, but in all districts in BC. To keep pace with the expected growth in Surrey, there is a need for approximately:
1 new elementary school every year and 1 new secondary school every 2-3 years for the foreseeable future.
“Student growth is expected be 1,000 new students per year, and simply put, we need collaboration between the Province, the District and the City.”
The Surrey School Coalition’s premise is that the construction of new schools in high growth areas benefit students in Surrey, contributes to healthy communities, and enables economic growth through development. Business, industry, parents realize that the ability to provide supply, and keep housing affordable by providing supply, will be impacted if we and the local government continue to have negative pressure to slow down growth due to the infrastructure not being made available (ie. building schools to house students in our new growing communities).
Surrey is the largest school district in BC (71,000 students in 120 schools).