Editor: Routley school lands are under threat. MLAs Rich Coleman and Mary Polak must step in and put a stop to the sale. Routley children attend schools that are so overcrowded the kids can only play outside on alternating days. The temporary dip in enrolment ended in 2007, and the echo boom is upon us.
This government insists that school districts “bring money to the table” if they want funding for new schools, forcing them to sell lands. These “partnerships” are an unprecedented unsustainable business model.
Capital funding for public education was $450 million in 2000, and $140 million by last year. Seventy-nine schools have been sold off across B.C. since 2001.
Education Minister George Abbott is ignoring the moratorium on school lands sales at Routley. Everyone has a part to play: Trustees must advocate for more funding and refuse to sell lands; municipal councillors must refuse to rezone and stick to their Official Community Plans.
Rather than forcing land sales through funding cuts, Abbott, Coleman and Polak must embrace their stewardship role and build a new school at Routley. The future of public education depends on them.
Jessica Van der Veen, founder,
LANDS (Let’s Agree Not to Dispose of Schools)