537,589 public school students expected in 2017-18 school year

PENDING final enrolment count in the fall, it is estimated that there will be 537,589 public school students in the 2017-18 school year, says the government.

This would be an increase of 4,232 students since last year (school-aged and adult, funded full-time equivalent students).
Based on student head-count in the 2016-17 school year, there were:
– 66,665 students with special needs in the province – 2,182 more than the year before.
– 69,032 Aboriginal students in the province – 1,279 fewer than the year before.
– 66,285 English Language Learning (ELL) students in the province – 394 fewer than the year before.
– 5,691 francophone students in the province – 158 more than the year before.
– 53,768 French Immersion students in the province – 677 more than the year before.
– 83,497 independent school students – 1,838 more than the year before.

Achievement 2015-16

* 83% of public school students are completing high school

* 90% of francophone students in public schools are completing high school

* 96% of French Immersion students in public schools are completing high school

* 64% of Aboriginal students in public schools are completing high school

* 87% of English language learners in public schools are completing high school

Investment in Learning

  • British Columbia’s total education operating budget for public and independent schools in the 2017-18 fiscal year is $5.9 billion.
  • Per-pupil funding in the 2017-18 school year is approximately $9,100.
  • Funding to schools in B.C. for students with special needs is approximately $1 billion in the 2017-18 school year, including basic student funding and targeted supports.
  • Government is investing $376 million in the Classroom Enhancement Fund to hire new teachers and specialty teachers in classrooms across B.C. for the 2017-18 school year.
  • School districts receive $52 million through CommunityLINK and $11.2 million via the Vulnerable Student Supplement each year to help them fund programs that support vulnerable children and youth.

Learning Environment

  • There are 1,566 public schools and 360 independent schools in B.C.
  • There are currently 64 school seismic projects throughout B.C. underway under the Seismic Mitigation Program.
  • There are a number of major capital and seismic projects currently underway throughout the province, including:
    • Vancouver – Maple Grove Elementary – $24.4-million seismic replacement
    • Richmond  – William Cook Elementary – $14-million upgrade and partial seismic replacement
    • Surrey – Clayton Village-area  Elementary – $26-million new school
    • Port Coquitlam – Minnekhada Middle school – $33.3-million seismic replacement
    • Chilliwack – Promontory Heights Elementary – $6.1-million eight-classroom addition
    • Prince George – Kelly Road Secondary – $44.3-million replacement school
    • Kelowna – Okanagan Mission Junior Middle school – $36.1-million new school
  • In addition to capital and seismic funding, government also provides Annual Facilities Grants (AFG) to school districts to help maintain and repair facilities – in 2017-18 districts will receive $110 million.
  • School districts are also eligible for funding through the School Enhancement Program (SEP) for roofing, lighting, heating/cooling and other efficiency upgrades – $53 million worth of projects were funded in 2016-17.
  • The Carbon Neutral Capital Program funds up to $5 million worth of upgrades each year to help school districts become more energy efficient and save money.