Education Minister responds to Kelowna-Lake Country MLA’s questions on budget priorities

$3.1 billion is going towards school replacement and additions over the next three years

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick is seeking Rutland Middle School to be replaces and upgraded as Rutland Middle School as its currently outdated. (File Photo)

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick is seeking Rutland Middle School to be replaces and upgraded as Rutland Middle School as its currently outdated. (File Photo)

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick has received a response to his inquiries from this past spring about the Ministry of Education’s future priorities.

In a letter from June 22, 2022, Letnick wrote to Education and Child Care Minister Jennifer Whiteside inquiring about estimates for the ministry’s $3.1-billion, three-year plan, claiming that the numbers provided didn’t add up. He asked to see the full layout for the three-year plan, including budget, school replacement, and additional school and seismic issues.

Whiteside replied on Dec. 7 with a letter of her own stating that $1.3 billion is for school expansion and replacement projects while $793 million is for seismic projects to take place over time, from 2022-2025. She stated the remaining money ($1,007 billion) is to go towards the following programs over a fiscal period of time: Annual Facility Grant, School Enhancement Program, Carbon Neutral Capital Program, Playground Equipment Program and Bus Acquisition Program.

Additionally, Whiteside said Knox Middle School recently announced an expansion worth $23.34 million, with the designing phase to begin shortly. This project is within the first fiscal year of the City of Kelowna’s major capital projects.

Westside Secondary School is also currently in their designing phase after a budget of $105.74 million was approved earlier this year.

On Thursday, Dec. 8, Letnick also congratulated Rachna Singh on becoming the newest Education Minister.

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@cunninghamjordy
jordy.cunningham@kelownacapnews.com

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