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Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District gets a late infusion of funds

Province tops up school board budgets across the province as new school year begins
(School District 42/Special to The News)

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District will receive almost $1.6 million in additional provincial funding just before students return to class, part of a $60 million cash injection to B.C. schools from the government.

Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside announced the one-time funding on Monday, Aug. 29, calling it a response to the rising costs of living.

The fund will be divided among B.C.’s 60 school districts on an as-needed basis, with each receiving at least $250,000.

Surrey, with the most students of any district in the province, will receive the largest amount at $7.4 million, followed by Vancouver with $4.7 million, Coquitlam with $3 million and Central Okanagan and Burnaby with about $2.4 million each. Fifteen districts will receive the minimum amount.

Districts will have the ability to use the funding for any needs, but Whiteside suggested the money should be used to bolster existing initiatives, such as meal programs.

The money could also be used to finance school supplies or cover the expenses of students in need for activities like field trips, Whiteside said.

The money is being handed out to help with rapid costs increases caused by inflation. While inflation is thought to have peaked earlier this summer, and gas prices have come down somewhat, costs for many items are still significantly higher than a year ago.

Schools return to session, in Ridge Meadows and across B.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 6, the day after Labour Day.

- with files from Black Press Media

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