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

Super 30 screening at ACT in Maple Ridge

Movie is based on international best-selling book by Maple Ridge doctor

Camp closing means it’s time to heal and move on, says MLA

Watershed moment for Maple Ridge, says D’Eith

Local rink wins King Cash Spiel

Ryan Rink wins World Curling Tour event in Maple Ridge

Several charges after arrest Friday in Maple Ridge

Court appearance Monday in Port Coquitlam

Maple Ridge’s Tiller’s Folly kick off international music series in Surrey

Come Dancing Around the World takes place at the Surrey Arts Centre

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Vancouver police could be using drones to fight crime by end of year

The police department has already purchased three drones, as well as three others for training

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Grand opening of Molson Coors Fraser Valley Brewery at Chilliwack cause for celebration

Ribbon-cutting with dignitaries, Molson brass and family marked the official grand opening

B.C. Ferries wants input on concepts for a Horseshoe Bay terminal re-design

Ferry corporation accepting public feedback until Oct. 13

Most Read