Surrey, Central Okanagan lead B.C. in student growth

Student enrolment is up in B.C., with several school districts reporting student-body increases, the Ministry of Education reported on Friday. Global News

Student enrolment in British Columbia has surged by more than 5,000 pupils from last year, the provincial government announced this week.

On Friday, the Ministry of Education issued a press release stating that students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 are benefitting from increased government investment. The province said “an additional $175 million is being invested this year to support students and more than $431 million is being provided for districts to hire up to 3,900 teachers through the Classroom Enhancement Fund.

“This funding, along with the boosts to meet growing enrolments over the past two years, means that compared to the 2016-17 school year, an additional $591 million has been invested in students.”

READ MORE: Student enrolment at UBCO in Kelowna just shy of 10,000

The real story, though, wasn’t the funding, though it was certainly notable. It was that an additional 5,564 full-time equivalent students are enrolled in B.C.’s schools compared to the year before. According to the province, the districts with the highest growth are:

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  • Surrey [with 1,152 more students]
  • Central Okanagan, [+596]
  • Greater Victoria, [+384]
  • Sooke [+373]
  • Abbotsford [+321]

“Because of our strong economy, more and more families are choosing to make B.C. their home and as a result, enrolment in our public schools is growing,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “Investing in education is the key to a better future and a prosperous economy. I am proud our government is fulfilling our commitment to support students and teacher hiring.”

READ MORE: Public school enrolment rising in British Columbia

The province also said most school districts are growing, with 45 of 60 school districts showing enrolment increases, though 15 saw declines. Student enrolment is up for the fourth year in a row, and that nearly 21,000 school-age students have been added in that period.

According to the provincial government:

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  • In total, there were 542,650 students (full-time equivalent) enrolled in B.C.’s public schools in September 2018, up from 537,086 (full-time equivalent) in September 2017.
  • Many districts have stable enrolments, and that 19 districts had fluctuations of fewer than 25 students.

To view enrollment breakdowns for each school district, click here.

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