Wednesday, April 20, 2016

This Afternoon In Clarkland: The Forced Closing Of Schools...

...What's In A Number?

Or, to be more precise, what's in that '95%' capacity number that the Clarklandians are insisting upon before they will spend commit money to saving kids from death and/or dismemberment by earthquake?

As Tracey Sherlock reported recently in the Vancouver Sun, essentially nothing.

Here is her lede and a bit more (to include a pathetic response from the Clarklandian Ministry of (Anti-Public) Education:

The B.C. ministry of education is forcing the province’s school districts to have their schools 95-per-cent full before they can get funding for seismic upgrades. But next door in Alberta, the Calgary district is working on a plan to reduce its capacity, from the current level of 85 per cent, down to 80 per cent.

The Calgary Board of Education just approved a three-year capital plan asking for 20 new schools and 13 major upgrades. The objective of the plan is to get schools back to just 80 per cent utilization.

“The Calgary Board of Education has a recommended school utilization rate of 80 per cent,” said Joanne Anderson, the board’s media relations representative. “As a whole, the … system utilization rate is 86 per cent, and more than one-third of schools are over 90 per cent. By freeing up space, schools have more flexible learning spaces and can maintain other learning spaces such as music and art rooms and a school learning commons (library).”

In Vancouver, the board is looking at closing as many as 21 schools to get to a 95-per-cent utilization rate, as mandated by the ministry of education, and required before schools will be upgraded for earthquake safety...


...When presented with the information from Alberta, the B.C. ministry of education said it all comes down to the budget.

“District-wide utilization rates are a key tool in making sure we deliver the best possible education for our students while ensuring value for taxpayers,” the ministry said in a statement. “Taxpayers want districts to make the best use of existing facilities before we invest millions of their tax dollars in new schools...


There you have it - no justification of the 95% number and the raising of the false flag of 'new schools' rather than seismic upgrading by the Clarklandian Ministry concerned.

My take?

Kids are being used as hostages to force the closing of public schools on a massive scale for no good (or even defensible) reason whatsoever.



North Van's Grumps said...

knee jerk reaction here RossK ... but if a school is 94% full, and is therefore not eligible for seismic upgrading, and there is an earthquake resulting in 100% fatalities ... of those 94% students, and teachers, and supporting staff, Christy Clark and her Minister of Education can walk away and say NOT OUR FAULT!!!!

Anonymous said...

Something else that one Alberta School Board is doing " The Edmonton Public School Board is asking the province to phase out public funding for private schools in Alberta."

Can you imagine how that would be received by Christy ? And on another note I read Christy flew up to Fort St. John today to attend the " Yes for LNG " rally. BC taxpayers are a generous bunch. That's like donating to the Liberal party whether you want to or not.

Guy in Victoria

Lew said...

Let us imagine an earthquake occurs and a school collapses, burying scores of children.

If it is known the structure was classified as high-risk due to seismic deficiencies, but safety upgrades were deliberately not conducted because the school was less than 95% occupied, would that increase or decrease legal liability? The question would undoubtedly be tested in court.

Moral liability would be much more obvious.

Anonymous said...

Robert Penn Warren. All The King's Men

One of my favorite novels. Note that Willie Loman (the Huey Long of the novel) gets his career into gear by losing an election based on coming out against a new school being built in his district; he has information that the school is being built using totally inferior materials. When the school collapses, and kids die, he wins the next election ans his career skyrockets.

People love their kids, Christy. Never forget that.


Anonymous said...

We must get private schools past 95

Anonymous said...

This sooo pisses me off! All I can say is ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGH !

RossK said...


Aaaaahhhh...The Kingfish.

And wasn't he a bridge builder too?

Heckuva book - and good movie too.