FACE-Vancouver on closing 19 VSB schools

Suggestion to close 19 Vancouver schools ‘short-sighted’: critics
The Vancouver Sun – June 11, 2015

A report that recommends the closure of 19 schools in Vancouver was deemed “short-sighted” and “offensive” by critics at a school board meeting Wednesday night.

Jennifer Stewart, the parent of a child at Simon Fraser elementary and a founder of Families Against Cuts to Education, called the suggestion of closing schools “short-sighted and ridiculous.”

She said her son’s school is more than 100-per-cent full and holds a lottery for kindergarten spaces, but it feeds into Tupper secondary, a school with low enrolment. She says if Tupper is closed, the population at Simon Fraser elementary will just put more pressure on Eric Hamber secondary.

She questioned where the money would go if properties are sold, with property values quickly rising in Vancouver.

“If we sell the land, how will we ever buy it back to build the new schools that we’re going to need?” she asked.

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Closing Vancouver schools harms children, communities, say parents
Early Edition, CBC Radio – June 10, 2015

Parents with children in the Vancouver School District say closing schools to save money is a non-starter and could actually be harmful to the health of children and communities.

Jennifer Stewart, who speaks for Families Against Cuts to Education, says the board and the province need to look at the impact of the school closures on a neighbourhood level.

“I cant say I’m surprised by it because it’s clear the ministry has been gunning to close schools,” she says. “But 19 schools is a huge number and we have to think of the families that go to those schools.

“Every school you see people using the playgrounds, using the playing fields. It’s always the heart of the community and it worries me very much to hear these callous recommendations of closing schools without thinking of the human impact.”

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