[Vancouver, B.C. – March 27, 2018] The recent announcement of $198 Million in maintenance funding for school districts was positively received by the British Columbia School Trustees Association.

“BCSTA has strongly advocated for quite some time that the government provide local boards of education and schools with the additional funds needed to appropriately address concerns surrounding building maintenance, school buses, facility upgrades, energy saving projects and other similar projects,” stated BCSTA President Gordon Swan in response to the announcement.

BCSTA’s membership has lobbied the association at several points throughout its history to request that government produce additional funds to alleviate long-standing concerns over ageing buildings and transportation concerns.

“We are pleased that the government has listened to the needs of school boards and has taken these first steps required to invest in the facilities students depend on daily,” added Swan. “This is a clear signal that we are prioritizing our young people and providing them with what they need to make the most of the classroom experience. As many of these funds will be provided directly to boards of education throughout the province, we can be confident that the funds will be directed to where they are needed most by those who best understand the needs of their community.”

Originally introduced during the 1988/89 school year as the ‘Facilities Shareable Capital Allowance,’ the Annual Facilities Grant has evolved considerably and now covers a wide range of initiatives. The announcement from government has indicated additional funding is to be put to use in upgrading and replacing necessary equipment and facilities, marking the first increase to the AFG since 2004-2005. BCSTA supports the government’s proposal to increase these funds which will allow boards of education to allocate funds based on local needs and requirements. BCSTA looks forward to working together with the government to ensure that all of B.C.’s students are educated in safe and modern school buildings.