Cuts to bussing worry SD37
Parents are being asked to meet with the Delta School Board following news the district’s transportation budget is being cut by the provincial Ministry of Education by nearly 50 per cent, or $728,000.
“The board is deeply concerned that a cut of 47 per cent will greatly impact many of our students, including some of our most vulnerable students,” Delta school board chair Laura Dixon wrote in an open letter addressed to the education minister urging the government to reconsider the cuts.
Delta currently provides bussing to 400 students, of whom 60 per cent live outside of district walk limits, including areas such as rural East Delta and Westham Island.
The remaining 40 per cent are special needs students who require bussing to attend their neighbourhood school or district programs at other schools.
The Ministry of Education changed the School Act in 2002, making the costs of student transportation a parental responsibility and bussing an optional service.
However, the funding formula was not changed until 2012.
“When we were informed of this significant cut, we immediately knew that we had to involve parents in the process of determining the best possible solutions,” said Dixon.
Delta’s board has formally requested that the ministry reconsider the transportation funding formula owing to its unique geography. Although a smaller school district with roughly 15,500 students, Delta is the largest municipality in the Lower Mainland, spread over 364 square kilometres, servicing three distinct communities.
Two meetings are scheduled for parents to attend on Monday, Jan. 28 at Delta Secondary and Tuesday, Feb. 5 at Burnsview Secondary.
The school board plans to discuss changes to the funding formula and look for input from parents at the meetings.