Thousands of K-12 students in Surrey will again be learning in portables for the 2019-2020 school season as the first week of school starts.
28 new portables will be brought in for the beginning of the school year, bringing the total to 361 portables. September’s record enrolment is expected to be even higher than earlier projections, further exacerbating the overcrowding situation. The strain on current space needs is extremely dire.
“The Surrey Schools Coalition wants a groundswell of parents to join their cause and their most recent ask to urge the BC Government to implement a special ‘growth fund’ to pay for portables, rather than out of school district operational budgets,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.
The Surrey School District diverts $10.7 million a year away from classroom funds to operate its 361+ portables. This means fewer resources for the projected to top 74,700+ students in 125 schools, including those students in schools with no portables, fewer teachers, less support for special needs students, and fewer course offerings in the whole district. Music rooms, gyms, libraries and computer labs have all been converted to classrooms in some schools in Surrey. All Surrey students are affected and deserve equal access, opportunity, and fair treatment compared to other districts’ students when they go back to school in September.
“Student enrolment in Surrey is expected to grow by 1,000 to 1,200 new students this fall, and simply put, we need collaboration between the Province, the District and the City of Surrey,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade and member of the unique grassroots Surrey Schools Coalition. “We can’t just stop development. How much longer can this situation continue?”
Education, both quality curriculum and quality surroundings, are needed for our students to be leaders, locally and globally, through career and entrepreneur pathways.
Surrey Schools Coalition Partners:
Advocacy for Capital and Education (A.C.E.) Group.
Surrey Board of Trade
Homebuilders Association Vancouver
Urban Development Institute
The Surrey Schools 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.