SD52 loses ministry funding, gains water flushing money

$220,000 was lost in ministry funding for SD52, but the district also gained $150,000 from the B.C. government for water issues

The result of an audit by the Ministry of Education on Prince Rupert School District’s (SD52) enrolment numbers for students with special needs, Aboriginal students career education and secondary student and alternate education students, has left SD52 with a loss of approximately $220,000 in ministry funding.

“The district’s practices for Aboriginal education, special education and career education were commended. The district is, as a result of the audit, reviewing its enrolment practices for alternate education and other areas to ensure the ministry requirements are met,” read a press release from SD52.

While ministry funding fell, the Government of B.C. has directed $150,000 to SD52 as part of the B.C. School Enhancement Program, which has contributed $45 million to 80 projects through 124 schools this year.

The money will go toward all district schools to fund the installation of automatic flush valves to address elevated lead levels in drinking water.

An additional $75,000 in district funding will be used for the project.

School districts applied for the funding this past spring, with successfully funded programs chosen because of their level of “need, priority and student learning”. The projects also needed to cost more than $100,000.

B.C. Minister of Education Mike Bernier was pleased to see the boost in infrastructure in the province.

“This fix-it fund will help make sure B.C. students have safe, healthy and modern places to learn. Not only will this help make schools in every district in the province more comfortable for students and staff, it’s also going to make sure we are protecting and enhancing infrastructure worth millions of dollars,” he said.

As well, Camp Jupiter returns for another year thanks to funding confirmed by Pacific NorthWest LNG this summer.

Students with special needs learn communication skills, practice motor activities and develop social interaction skills as well at Camp Jupiter. The camp’s activities focus on a theme related to the upcoming year’s curriculum. The camp is two weeks and is comprised of academic, physical and social activities. Day trips are also included to different locations.