From: Julee Kaye
Sent: April-13-16 11:16 AM
To: ‘educ.minister@gov.bc.ca’; ‘mike.lombardi@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘allan.wong@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘Janet.fraser@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘fraser.ballantyne@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘christopher.richardson@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘patti.bacchus@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘joy.alexander@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘penny.noble@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘stacy.robertson@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘david.eby.MLA@leg.bc.ca’; ‘andrew.wilkinson.MLA@leg.bc.ca’;
‘communications@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘nbrennan@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘jpearce@vsb.bc.ca’;


To VSB’s trustees & Superintendents, our Minister of Education, and my local

Once the VSB and MoE have completed a functional analysis of school capacity
in Vancouver – an analysis that includes educational and social criteria for
school size, community impacts, building status, and geographic analysis of
between-school distances and travel times – it may be that indeed some
school sites must be closed for the present time (especially given the
backlogged seismic remediation program).

For the following reasons, however, any such school sites must be kept under
public ownership:

1. As the city’s density increases, the cost of replacing school sites
in the future will become increasingly prohibitive. Globally urban
populations are always expected to increase in the long run and this would
appear to be no different in Vancouver. Our current school sites come to us
as a gift from the city’s forefathers and it is our duty to bequeath them to
future generations.

2. The parts of the city where schools are closest together are the
same parts that have the least area of park land. Indeed, reviewing a map of
the city would suggest that it is the lack of parks – and therefore
increased residential area – that has caused the eastside to have more
schools per unit area. Thus even schools which are closed should continue to
provide playgrounds, playing fields and green space for the surrounding

3. The one-time financial gain does not justify the long-term loss of
income from the property, let alone the loss of option value on future uses
of the property. Sale of a property will assist with just one year’s budget
deficit, whereas earned income off properties can enrich the VSB’s operating
budget forever. Moreover, school boards in BC which sell property are
required to pay 75% of the profits back to the Ministry of Education – so
the sale provides relatively little immediate gain anyway.

The province has a moral obligation to fund safe school
facilities in Vancouver even if the VSB holds revenue properties. We pay
taxes to the province just so they can ensure that all children in the
province have access to good schools.

4. The recent movement of families into private schools is reversible.
A change in government support for public schools or in family economics
could send a portion of the 13,000 children in Vancouver private schools
back to the public system within a relatively short space of time (esp. at
the start of primary or secondary school). The number of school sites held
by the public must be sufficient to meet future enrolment, not just current

What then can be done with surplus school space? Depending on their
condition, some buildings might be torn down during seismic work or leased
to compatible users. Ideally some surplus space would be used to offer free
office space to all Vancouver MLA’s. One suspects they would better
prioritize school seismic remediation projects were they faced with spending
their days in Vancouver’s unsafe and shamefully dilapidated schools.

Thank you for your ongoing efforts to better manage our school system,

Julee Kaye
(Parent from QEA, JQ, General Gordon, Kerrisdale, Kitsilano & soon Point