[Vancouver, B.C. – June 3, 2024] A new report from the BC School Trustees Association (BCSTA) shows that, despite increased investment, capital funding for schools remains short.

“Children deserve to learn in safe, modern and resilient environments,” said Carolyn Broady, BCSTA president. “School facility funding shortfalls are the result of decades of underfunding, impacting the quality of education in our schools and the well-being of students and staff.”

The report shows that almost $9 billion will be required over the next five years to address life-cycle and deferred maintenance repairs in B.C. public schools. There are currently 1,741 temporary portables in use throughout the province and an additional $7 billion is required for new schools, additions and school site land acquisitions over the next five years. The report also highlights the significant investment needed to help schools meet greenhouse gas targets and adapt to climate change.

“We must ensure our public education infrastructure can withstand extreme weather events,” said Broady. “Investing in climate adaptation isn’t just about protecting buildings and reducing carbon emissions; it’s about securing healthy, stable learning environments now and in the future.”

The report’s recommendations include:

  • An immediate increase in capital funding to cover maintenance and new infrastructure.
  • Implementing new technologies to reduce emissions and adapt to extreme weather.
  • Modernizing school area standards to meet today’s educational needs.

Making Progress Toward Sustainable Schools: Next Steps, produced by BCSTA’s Capital Working Group, can be accessed here.

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This news release has been updated to correct the amount of investment required for new schools and seismic issues. The correct amount is $7 billion, not $642 million as previously stated, which also includes school land acquisitions.