SD43 gets funding boost for school supplies

Province announces school learning, CTA calls cash "random act of funding" but needed to implement new school curriculum

School District 43 will receive approximately $1.56 million for student supplies, providing a welcome boost to the coffers, according to board chair Kerri Palmer Isaak.

The funds are part of a $29.4-million province-wide, amounting to $50 per student for supplies such as textbooks, hands-on learning tools and computer programs, athletic equipment, art supplies and lab equipment. According to a provincial government press release, $2 million will go to private schools, with the remaining $27.4 million divvied up between the province's 60 school districts.

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Palmer Isaak said the district participated in a conference call last Friday with Education Minister Mike Bernier and has already begun to prioritize a use for the funds.

"What I do have to add is how happy we are to receive this additional funding," Palmer Isaak said in an email.

But the president of the Coquitlam Teachers' Association, Ken Christensen, called the announcement a "random act of funding," and said stable funding is needed, not one-time cash that will quickly be used up.

"What we need here is stable, ongoing, predictable funding, especially when we are dealing with a multi-year project like the new curriculum," Christensen told The Tri-City News, although he agreed that the funding "will be put to good use."

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