Petition launched to boost Burnaby school enrolment
A Burnaby political party has launched a petition urging trustees to dialogue with parents about the education system to boost enrolment.
Burnaby First Coalition trustee candidate Scott Janzen said there’s about 7,000 school-aged kids in the city who could be going to school in the district — bringing with them needed funding on a per-student basis.
“We want to find the parents who don’t have their kids enrolled in the public schools and find out what would work for them to get their kids enrolled,” Janzen said. “The more local kids that we can attract to our public schools the less shortfalls we’re going to have on our budgets.”
He said there could be a number of reasons students are choosing private schools, homeschooling or going to school in other districts.
Religious beliefs or simply not changing schools after a move could be reasons, Janzen said, pointing to the success of hot lunch programs at some schools as one example of something that could draw students.
But Burnaby Board of Education Chair Baljinder Narang said the district already works to draw students to the city’s public school system.
“We approach this in a very proactive way by making sure we have a variety of interesting, challenging, creative programs that will attract students,” Narang said. “The only way we can attract parents and students into our public education system is to provide very good, strong education.”
Narang also said critics don’t take into account that Burnaby schools already attract some students from other districts.