Silver Creek elementary in the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District will continue to serve the community of Silver Creek thanks to a $213,353 investment under the Rural Education Enhancement Fund (REEF), Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo 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. Silver Creek 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.
Greg Kyllo, Shuswap MLA –
“Silver Creek elementary is a small family-oriented school that carefully looks after the needs of local children. We are able to ensure that the school will continue because of a rural education strategy that takes into consideration the social and economic contributions that schools like Silver Creek make in small communities.”
- 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.