April 22, 2019

The VDLC endorses the #BuildSchoolsRight campaign calling for an update to BC’s school design policy, because student success requires the right school facilities. 

At our April, 2019, regular meeting the following recommendation was adopted: 

Subject:  #BuildSchoolsRight Campaign

BECAUSE many communities in BC, including here in our District, desperately need new schools to replace old, seismically unsafe ones, those containing heath hazards like asbestos and lead, and to replace portables where communities have outgrown existing schools; and

BECAUSE new schools are being build on average 30% smaller than those they are replacing, and are lacking important learning spaces, due to the Ministry of Education’s policy (the “Area Standards”) that sets out how schools are to be built in BC and determines the amount of money that will be budgeted for construction of a school; and

BECAUSE this policy does not allocate space for art rooms, music rooms, adequate hallway space, washrooms, staff rooms, sufficient gymnasium space, and other necessities for successful inclusive learning; and

BECAUSE the Ministry of Education has responded to concerns about this policy by stating that it plans to review the policy but, in the meantime, districts have “flexibility” to design schools as long as they stay within budget. This does not provide an adequate solution to the lack of funding for important spaces in new schools,

THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL endorse the #BuildSchoolsRight campaign; and

THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL FURTHER write to Minister of Education Rob Fleming, Premier John Horgan, BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, and BC Green leader Andrew Weaver in support of prioritizing the Ministry’s review of its Area Standards policy and ensuring that review is consultative and addresses the concerns raised.

For more information on the #BuildSchoolsRight campaign, and to send a message to your MLA, visit the campaign website

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