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NEWS RELEASE · 3rd September 2010
MInistry of Education
Full-day Kindergarten

* The Province is investing $280 million over three years to implement full-day kindergarten for more than half of all five-year-olds this fall and all eligible children by September 2011.
* A $144.5-million capital investment will help ensure 665 new and upgraded classrooms are available to meet the needs of our full-day kindergarten learners in September 2011.

StrongStart BC

* The StrongStart BC expansion is now complete and there are 314 StrongStart BC programs operating across the province.
* Last year, there were more than 473,000 visits to StrongStart BC programs with more than 24,000 children participating - nearly double the numbers from 2008-09.

Neighbourhood Learning Centres (NLC)

* In June 2010, Revelstoke became the first NLC project to break ground.
* To date, the Province has announced 15 Neighbourhood Learning Centre schools around B.C.

Capital and Seismic

* Forty-eight capital and seismic projects are expected to proceed to construction this year.
* Twenty-seven capital and seismic projects are expected to reach completion this year.
* Currently, 121 school seismic projects have been completed, are under construction or are proceeding to construction.
* Since 2001, the Province has spent more than $1.7 billion to complete 80 new and replacement schools, 148 additions, 26 renovation projects and 22 site acquisitions across B.C. All new and replacement schools have been constructed to meet the latest seismic standards.
* By the end of 2010-11, the Province will have committed more than $3.9 billion in school capital and maintenance projects.

Aboriginal

* English 10 and 11 First Peoples are now offered in B.C. schools, along with accompanying provincial exams. These curriculums were developed through a partnership with the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and the Ministry of Education.
* The new Kwakwala grades 5-12 language curriculum document is being implemented in SD85 (Vancouver Island North).
* There are 14 approved Aboriginal language curriculums taught in B.C. schools. More information is available at http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/irp/template_developed.php.

Green

* One hundred and six new buses will provide better mileage and cleaner exhaust emissions in 31 school districts across the province at a cost of $12.5 million.
* $20 million for energy-efficient mechanical upgrades to northern and interior schools to improve energy efficiency and air quality at local schools and reduce green house gases.

Funding and Enrolment

* A record $4.66 billion in estimated operating grants to school districts this year - a $112-million increase over 2009-10, which includes full funding for the teachers' wage settlement and full funding for the implementation of full-day kindergarten.
* $8,301 in estimated average per-pupil funding in 2010-11 - the highest ever, a $105 increase over 2009-10 and a $2,039 increase since 2000-01.
* Since 2000-2001, enrolment has declined by an estimated 60,000 students, excluding enrolment changes resulting from the move to full-day kindergarten.

Shared Service

* Four districts - Vancouver, Kamloops Thompson, North Vancouver and Surrey - are providing early leadership by moving to shared payroll and business administration systems.
* The move to an integrated system that includes common payroll will help districts focus dollars on students instead of administration.
* The Province is currently studying cost saving options in transportation, including bulk purchasing, to help maximize the funding available to support student learning.