Surrey school meal programs suffering

Trustees again urge province to provide sufficient funding.

Ijaz Chatha

Surrey school trustees are once again hoping to draw the provincial government’s attention to the fact that children in need are continuing to go without food at school.

In a motion presented at Thursday’s public board meeting, Trustee Ijaz Chatha said Community Link funding remains insufficient to support the district’s school meal program.

“It is difficult for hungry children to concentrate in class,” he said. “The school meal program is an extremely valuable support for vulnerable children and should be available to all children who need it.”

Community Link funding comes from the province and pays for things such as lunch programs for low income students, special programs at inner-city schools and counseling for at-risk children and youth.

In the spring, Surrey school trustees slammed the province for the unfair funding formula, and tabled a formal motion about the funding then, as well.

On Thursday, Chatha once again pointed out that Surrey, the largest school district in B.C., receives less than one-third of what Vancouver gets, but has at least 10,000 more students.

The discrepancy has been brought to the attention of – and acknowledged by – several education ministers over the years, but no corrections have ever been made.

“The funding formula hasn’t changed for more than a decade,” Chatha said in his motion.

He was backed by fellow trustees, who agreed to request yet another meeting with the ministers of education and finance to demand the Community Link funding formula be revised prior to the 2012 provincial budget.

• Meanwhile, the Surrey Board of Education continues to fight for capital funding. As has become an annual tradition of sorts, Trustee Terry Allen presented a motion Thursday to request to meet with the province about the lack of school building money for Surrey. Despite the number of students climbing by about 1,000 annually, no new capital money (except for that allocated to all-day kindergarten) as been allocated since 2005.

By the numbers:

Community Link Funding

Per Student (total district enrolment)

• New Westminster – $219.33 (6,100)

• Victoria – $200.57 (20,000)

• Vancouver – $159.19 (56,000)

• Surrey – $58.47 (69,145)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey students donate 2,000 pairs of socks

Initiative part of the Leo Club program

Surrey hosts grand-opening ceremony of North Surrey arena complex

‘Accessible’ facility features three sheets of ice

Lord Tweedsmuir tops Tamanawis in all-cat fight for Surrey RCMP Classic title

Panthers’ Jaeden Reid was named MVP at all-Surrey boys tournament

Trade to hometown team a ‘blessing in disguise’ for Surrey Eagles defenceman

Kieran O’Hearn gets to play in front of family, who live just minutes from South Surrey Arena

White Rock solid waste open house scheduled

Event to take place next month

VIDEO: SPCA and RCMP remove several animals, including pig, at private animal rescue in Langley

Home at 5500 block of 216th Street has undergone multiple seizures over the past five years

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

Vancouver police probe second homicide in less than 24 hours

Woman was found dead in her Gastown home

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read

l -->