NLPS receiving nearly half a million for support with school supplies, field trips

NLPS receiving nearly half a million for support with school supplies, field trips
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Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is receiving $495,000 from the Ministry of Education and Child Care’s most recent round of dollars placed in its student and family affordability fund.

In March, the B.C. government announced it had added $20 million to its student and family affordability fund. The province introduced the fund in August 2022 with a total of $60 million, calling it then a one-time offering. It was originally introduced to help families hit hard by rising costs from inflation. With the new allocation, schools can distribute monies directly to families to help pay for costs like school supplies, school fees and field trips, or costs related to joining a school sports team or music program.

As of January, NLPS had approximately $88,000 carried forward from the previous fund allocation, which was $1.46 million, according to an April 10 staff report. In the last school year, funding has been used to subsidize food, field trips and the purchase of supplies as well as household items. NLPS expects the carry over to be expended by the end of this school year and all remaining funds to be spent by June 2025.

SEE ALSO: Nanaimo-Ladysmith among Vancouver Island school districts with enrolment bump

“Staff are currently in the process of making a determination of how the funds will be divided and we will be providing some immediate support to the [First] Nations, Learning Alternatives and the Nanaimo Ladysmith Schools Foundation to ensure supports are available in the summer,” the report says. The school district is also undertaking consultation to determine allocation of remaining funds, but expects it to be delivered similar to the previous round.

In the 2022-23 school year, all schools in the district received a minimum of $10,000 to distribute to families. That amount was based on $50 per student. Gabriola Elementary received $10,000 while Nanaimo District Secondary School, which has the largest student population in district, received $77,300.

Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder

READ ALSO: ‘I can’t believe they could do this’: Cowichan families devastated by cuts to Mill Bay School

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