Declining enrolment and school closures
Declining enrolment is often cited as the reason for school closures. However, the Ministry of Education’s own figures indicate that enrolment in BC’s public schools is slowing down with student enrolment already increasing in kindergarten.
The government overestimated the decline in enrolment for 2009-10. Enrolment did decline, but only by about half as much as expected. In September 2009, there were 3,595 more students enrolled in public schools than the number initially estimated by the ministry.
The ministry estimates that 7,440 additional kindergarten students will enroll in BC public schools in 2010/11, with a further increase in 2011/12 when full-day kindergarten is fully implemented. Enrolment decline for all school-aged students is projected to level off by 2013 and begin to climb again in 2014.
Yet once schools are closed and sold off, as is often the case, they are lost to the district, regardless of the need that will be there in the near future.