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Coquitlam school district receives $3M to help pay for supplies, meal programs

More than 32,000 students will soon head back to Tri-City classrooms and the one-time funding hopes to make the back-to-school transition more affordable for families.
School Supplies
B.C. is set to help pay for school supplies with an investment of more than $3 million to School District 43 (SD43).

School District 43 (SD43) is getting a major financial boost from the province to ease the back-to-school crunch for Tri-Cities families.

Amid the rising cost of living, B.C. is granting a total of $3,001,720 to the Coquitlam-area district in assisting with a number of programs aimed at ensuring students' success in the classroom.

The money will primarily be used for school supplies and meal programs utilized by many of the more than 32,000 students set to return on Sept. 6.

However, it's also set to cover any additional fees for field trips and other activities.

SD43's share is five per cent of a one-time $60,000,000 investment from the province via its Student and Family Affordability Fund. Each school district received an allocation of $250,000 or more.

"Many families in B.C. are feeling the effects of global inflation on daily costs, including groceries, school supplies and other school expenses," said B.C. education and child care minister Jennifer Whiteside in a release today (Aug. 29).

"We're taking action by providing more funding that school districts will use to help meet the needs of families and students."

SD43 is set to work with parent advisory councils, First Nations and Indigenous organizations, across its region to identify priorities of local student and school communities to determine how the money will be distributed.

"This is wonderful news for families struggling with the increased cost of living," adds Carolyn Broady, BC School Trustees Association president in the same statement.

"Local school districts and boards of education, who know their communities best, will use these funds to support families in need through their existing programs and initiatives."

As well, B.C. is setting aside $3.8 million to support families of independent school authorities struggling to keep up with increasing everyday expenses.

The province says its investing $7.4 billion in K-12 education for the 2022-23 calendar, and has $250 million more funding for public schools in Budget 2022 compared to 2021.

According to the release, B.C. finance minister and Coquitlam-Maillardville MLA Selina Robinson is set to unveil "a number of measures" in September related to Monday's announcement "to help those hardest hit" by the rising inflation.