05/31/2016 09:54 EDT | Updated 06/01/2017 05:12 EDT

B.C. Government's Funding For Each Public School Student Seems Suspect

I would like to see a breakdown of the per student funding formula you (the B.C. Liberal Party) use. How do you come up with your magic number of $8,500 per public school student per year?

The secretary treasurer of School District 42, where I live, explains it much differently. Flavia Coughlan says that in the 2002-2003 school year, the per-student funding was $6,014, less the $515 the board needed to fund for students with unique needs. This brings us to a per student funding of $5,499 annually.

In the 2015-2016 school year -- once you account for inflation and the other deductions you are left with $5,205.

MLA Marc Dalton told me District 42 has a $4.5-million surplus and that that money could be used to reinstate the buses.

I played a CBC radio interview for Marc, where the host breaks down the numbers for Dan Ashton, another Liberal MLA. In the interview, it states that the Liberals are increasing funding of about one per cent year, but that inflation accounts for roughly two per cent per annually.

This means that the Liberals are only funding half of what is actually needed. Marc could not provide me with any information relevant to these numbers.

In 2003, I was graduating from a high school for high-risk youth in Langley. That year, we were told that they were going to be forced to close Grades 11 and 12 in my school because of low enrolment.

I told the superintendent and trustees that more than anything, these teachers at my school were life coaches, saving many lives every day. They were heroes in my eyes. By removing Grades 11-12, you were removing a lifeline in many cases.

School closed

Fast forward to 2012, I am ready to enrol my son in kindergarten. I find out that the little local elementary school that I intended to send him to is now closed.

I first sent my son to his catchment school. He was diagnosed with asthma two months after starting there.

A couple years later, I realized the severity of the condition of the building. There were types of confirmed mould that could have potentially caused health issues. I had to remove my son from his school.

While enrolling my son in his new school, I opted to send him on the school bus, only to find out this service would be removed completely from the district this September.

We don't have public transit and are definitely not in a position for safety reasons (bears, cougars, bobcats, cars, no sidewalks, no street lights, etc.) to allow our children to walk, so what is the answer here?

District 42 trustees, how are we supposed to support you if you don't stand up for what is right?

As for the B.C. Liberals, you know exactly what you are doing and don't think for one minute that you are fooling us. Stop funding private schools and start properly funding public education. It's that simple!

Embarrassing situation

I would like to see a breakdown of the B.C. Liberals per student funding formula so I can look at why they feel $8,500/student is enough and where that number even comes from and if in fact the districts are actually receiving that amount.

In my books, being $1,000/student/year below the national average (second to last in the country) is completely unacceptable!

We live in one of the most expensive places to live in Canada, have some of the highest taxes, are one of the only provinces to pay a health premium -- and yet we are second to last in the country for education spending. How can this be?

I do not want to raise my son in a province that values political contributions over public education. Frankly I'm embarrassed by this.