Comment 93098

By Jay Robb (anonymous) | Posted October 10, 2013 at 08:18:08 in reply to Comment 93075

Or maybe it's easier to get funding to build a few new schools than repair and renovate many old schools.

From a past ARC meeting, we learned:

1. The funding formula for repairs and renovations is currently tied to student enrolment. More students = more funding. Small schools operating at less than 100 per cent capacity will never get enough money to cover deferred maintenance, much less make renovations. Like I said earlier, I was a little stunned at conditions in my one child's school. And it appears the only investment planned for that school is a new boiler some time in the future.

2. Many schools weren't built to last and are fast approaching or already at the end of their life cycle. I'd like to go back to the elementary schools I went to as a kid in the 1970s and 80s and see how they've held up. What's more, these schools are not built and wired for the way students learn today.

3. It's unlikely there will be an increase in funding for schools as more and more of the provincial budget goes to health care for aging Boomers who were once students in these fast-built schools back in the '50s. The status quo won't be financially sustainable.

Definitely feel for families who paid a premium to live within walking distance of a good school (we were one of those first-time home buyers who put schools at the top of our checklist).

And residents are likely wondering what happens to their property values when there's no longer a steady arrival of young families and former schools sit empty or get sold and used for other purposes.

Yet it's worth asking if a school that looks good from the street is worth walking to if the learning conditions inside the school get a failing grade and shortchange our kids?

We should start by asking what's the best learning environment for our kids and then how do we build it, pay for it and sustain it while being realistic about how much funding is available.

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