Spending on B.C.’s public schools up 11%, study says

Per-student costs were $11,656 in the 2016-17 school year, think tank says

Government spending on B.C.’s public schools has increased 11.3 per cent per student over the past decade despite enrollment dipping, according to a new study by the Fraser Institute.

When adjusted for inflation, the think tank said Thursday that during the 2016-17 school year, each student in the public school system cost $11,656. That’s compared to $11,059 in 2006 to 2007.

“Contrary to what we often hear, spending is on the rise in B.C.’s public education system,” said Angela MacLeod, a senior policy analyst with the institute and co-author of the study.

Part of the reason, she said, is enrolment dropped seven per cent over the same 10-year period, amplifying even small increases in cost.

Nominal spending, which includes teacher and staff salaries, pensions and benefits, increased by about 12 per cent, from $5.8 billion to $6.5 billion.


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