LETTERS: Fixes needed elsewhere, too

LETTERS: Fixes needed elsewhere, too

Editor: Re: $64m school boost ‘just the beginning,’ May 2.

Editor:

Re: $64m school boost ‘just the beginning,’ May 2.

I was glad to hear about the $64-million commitment from the provincial government to allow our school district to begin to catch up with our city’s needs.

As Premier John Horgan said, “We have to get ahead of it.”

The provincial and municipal governments have to start planning ahead for the next 20 years, not just working to catch up with where we’ve been left after the last 20 years or more.

Horgan is right, also, to note as he did that “it’s the province’s responsibility to make sure that traffic infrastructure, schools infrastructure and hospital infrastructure is in place.” I hope he’ll be able to make that happen for Surrey.

And there are at least two other areas where the province needs to step up: child care and post-secondary education.

Frank Bucholz’s column about the lack of child-care services highlights the needs in the first of these areas (Community services suffer in city of neglect, May 2), so I’ll say no more about that here. But in post-secondary education, also not mentioned by Horgan, Surrey has been shortchanged for decades: it continues to get only half the funding, per resident, that the rest of B.C. gets.

Whereas the rest of B.C.’s regional post-secondaries get funding for 19.8 students per 1,000 residents, Surrey’s post-secondary, Kwantlen Polytechnic University gets funding for only 9.7 students. Dollar-wise, KPU gets only $71 per resident, while the rest of B.C.’s post-secondaries get $157.

The funding levels for trades, adult basic education and English-language training are even worse – one-third the levels that the rest of B.C. gets!

How can the future live here when Surrey and White Rock residents can’t get the level of access to post-secondary education and training that the rest of the province is given?

Geoff Dean, Surrey