News Views: Placing blame

Liberal MLA Marc Dalton wants voters in his Maple Ridge-Mission riding to know that cutting school buses is a local decision.

Liberal MLA Marc Dalton wants voters in his Maple Ridge-Mission riding to know that cutting school buses is a local decision, made by school board trustees, not the provincial government.

As a former teacher in the district, he wants  parents to know he understands their concerns about losing transportation services next fall. He’s even met with the Minister of Education, Mike Bernier, to express those concerns, so he wrote in a letter for publication.

Dalton also points out that the school district is estimated to receive $8,474 per student for the coming year, “a 48 per cent increase since 2001,” and that the total for 2016/17 is more than $122 million – “a historic high.”

All that, he claims, “despite a decline in student numbers compared to a few years ago.”

He fails to mention, however, that enrolment in the district went up this year by 400 students.

More students, more money.

Dalton also neglected to note that his Liberal government asked the local school board to find $1.35 million in savings for the coming year, in addition to the $8 million and 70 positions trustees cut in the two previous budgets, or if expenses have increased.

Dalton points out that transportation money was rolled into a block amount in 2012, to allow districts more flexibility for their own priorities.

They now receive “Student Location Factor funding, which is based on enrolment and school-age population density, as well as the unique characteristics of each district, such as geographic challenges and unique student needs.”

For that, the local school district is receiving $1.6 million. We’re not sure what portion of that is going to transportation for students with disabilities, but the district is not cutting busing for them.

Cutting busing in rural areas for 370 other students will save $650,000. The district tapped into its reserves to cover much of the remaining amount it was asked to cut. The district also points out that, after expenses, per pupil funding is now less than it was 13 years ago.

We’d just like to point out, for all those parents still trying to figure out how to get their children to school next fall, how helpful the information provided by the MLA has been.

Because, in his words: “It is important to understand that budgetary decisions, including school bus transportation, are made at the local level by our district’s school board after consultation with the public.”

So it’s not his fault.


– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News


Just Posted

Dewdney Trunk Road closed, vehicle crashes

Happened in early evening, injuries unknown

Court supports Maple Ridge role in tent city

Rejects Pivot application to allow people to return

City video updates Maple Ridge Leisure Centre re-do

Rusty support columns delaying project by a few months

Maple Ridge councillor back at work

Duncan away because of car accident

Seniors conquer the arctic

Pitt Meadows guide led 35-day trek

VIDEO: Wet weather kicks off Lower Mainland toad migration

Thousands of small western toads were making the trek from pond to woods

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Serious police incident unfolding at Sts’ailes near Agassiz

Small reserve near Agassiz surrounded by police vehicles, helicopter, ERT

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

RCMP release sketch of suspect in SFU assault, appeal to witnesses who helped woman

The RCMP want to talk to two women who helped the victim after she got to the parking lot

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Most Read