SD42 is paying $150,000 in MSP registration costs for foreign students in the district on a study permit. (THE NEWS/files)

$150,000 in MSP fees coming out of SD42 pocket

SD42 had to cover MSP for international students after government announcement in August

The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district has been forced to absorb $150,000 in Medical Services Plan coverage for international students this year.

The money has been taken from the international student tuition revenue fund to pay the fees after the provincial government made the sudden announcement on Aug. 1.

In a recent letter to Health Minister Adrian Dix, the B.C. School Trustees Association asked that the requirement for international students to enrol in the MSP this year be delayed until the 2020/21 school year.

RELATED: Canada to boost presence overseas to attract more international students

The association said that enrolment in the plan this year has put school districts across the province in a “very awkward and expensive position,” because the parents of these students have already signed contracts for the provision of educational services, homestays and other services that include emergency medical coverage.

“It simply is not possible to amend previously signed contracts and payments,” said the letter dated Nov. 5 and signed by BCSTA president Stephanie Higginson.

“Due to the late timing of this policy announcement, we are instead forced to take money out of local school district budgets.”

Districts had to pay $37.50 per month for each international student they had enrolled until the end of December and then $75 per month for each student to the end of the school year.

RELATED: SD42 non-resident student fees set to increase

Irena Pochop, with the local school district, said the money used to absorb the cost was not earmarked for any other projects or equipment.

There are currently 525 international students in the school district, but only around half of them are in the district on a study permit and would need to register and pay for MSP, said Pochop.

Going forward, she added, the district will be registering international students who need to be enrolled in the plan, but the cost will be covered by an increase in tuition fees.

There will be no ongoing additional cost to the district, she said.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Ridge Meadows Hospital executive director an “out-of-the-box” thinker

Rich Dillon brings years of valuable experience with Vancouver Coastal Health

Maple Ridge volunteers honoured for decades of service

Community Services held special ceremonies for volunteers John Work and Rodger White

LETTER: Horgan has gall wasting taxpayer money amid COVID

Senior upset by election call at a time when she can’t even afford her prescriptions

OUR VIEW: Election could well backfire on Horgan

Are voters angry enough to cast NDP out, after sending us to the polls in the middle of a pandemic?

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

Most Read