Cherryville elementary in the Vernon School District will continue to serve the community of Cherryville thanks to a $443,320 investment under the Rural Education Enhancement Fund (REEF), Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster announced today on behalf of Education Minister Mike Bernier.
Under the program, a total of 11 rural schools will receive a portion of this year’s $3.4-million investment to ensure they can continue to serve their local students and community. Cherryville elementary is one of six schools receiving funding for the first time this year. The remaining five schools are receiving funding for the second year under REEF.
The amount of funding each district is eligible to receive reflects the amount of money that would be saved if the school was closed. Eligibility criteria include:
- The school must be located in a rural community or sub-community outside Greater Victoria, the Lower Mainland, and Kelowna areas with a population of less than 15,000;
- The school must be the only one in the community;
- Closing the school would have a negative effect on students and/or the community; and,
- Closures where the main reason is facility condition are not included.
This investment builds on government’s ongoing work to develop a provincial rural education strategy that looks at public school funding, the condition of schools, and the role education plays in rural communities.
As a result of B.C.'s strong economy and balanced budget, the Government of British Columbia is able to support record funding increases for students and B.C.’s education system.
Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA –
“Cherryville elementary plays an important part in its small community. It will remain open thanks to this fund and a recognition of the social and economic contribution that it makes to our children.”
- REEF was first announced last year to help school districts keep rural schools open, supporting student learning and community development. In total, more than $5.1 million has been invested under the program.
- Rural school districts in B.C. receive about 20% more funding per student than urban districts – and special supports like the Rural Education Enhancement Fund.
- Budget 2017 commits $9 million over the next three years to keep more rural schools open.
- In addition, Budget 2017 supports $2 billion in capital spending to upgrade or build new schools over the next three years.