News Local

Fee hike proposed for Vancouver adult ed

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

It’s about to get a lot more expensive for Vancouverites wanting to take courses after graduating high school. (FOTOLIA)

It’s about to get a lot more expensive for Vancouverites wanting to take courses after graduating high school. (FOTOLIA)

It’s about to get a lot more expensive for Vancouverites wanting to take courses after graduating high school.

As of May, no longer will those courses be subsidized by the provincial government — many have previously been provided free of charge — and now, Vancouver School District is going to increase the price of admission.

Until May, academic courses, which include 10, 11 and 12 classes, were covered by the provincial funding. After May, only foundations courses – education to the grade 9 level – will still be covered for adult graduates, said Chris Murphy, adult education president for the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers Association. But graduated adults will have to pay for all other courses. 

Already, this is having a significant impact in Vancouver as staff slashed projected graduated adult enrolment this year by more than half to 322 students from 700 last year.

Current fees are already $425 — and it’s now being proposed that the fee for each course be increased to $550.

Director of instruction Robert Schindel said the district is looking at options to reduce the growing financial hole of adult education.

Not enacting cuts or raising fees would mean that the adult education program would take $3.5 million away from the next year’s Kindergarten to Grade 12 budget.

“All the Metro Vancouver districts are looking at their course fees for adult ed,” Schindel said.

“There will be fewer graduated adults that will be funded and those graduated adults will then make the decision, will they take the course and pay for it or not?”

Several cost cutting measures have already been implemented. There’s now a minimum class size for adult education so there can be fewer teachers, but the same or more classes being taught.

Self-paced programs that were often overseen by at least an instructor and a teaching assistant — as well as that program’s online counterpart — are being slated for cutbacks or elimination entirely. Additionally, some school facilities have been closed down.

Reader's comments »

By adding a comment on the site, you accept our terms and conditions