FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | February 26th, 2024 — Surrey, BC:

To end education in portable trailers and eliminate extended hours in BC, The Conservative Party of British Columbia will enable Surrey and other school districts to increase the number of students in all K-12 classrooms — with the strict condition that school districts must maintain or increase the student-to-teacher ratio in schools.

“For 32 years, the NDP and BCU-Liberals have treated people in Surrey and the Fraser Valley like second-class British Columbians. It’s wrong and it’s going to end here,” says Conservative Party of British Columbia Leader, MLA John Rustad.

Recent Canadian research has indicated that Canadian students in portable trailers may score lower on tests, when compared to students learning in permanent classrooms. In light of this research, and feedback from concerned parents, BC’s Conservatives commit to building the schools that Surrey needs — but recognize the need for an immediate response to end portables and eliminate shifts for students in Surrey.

“We need to get students out of portables, and we need to make life easier — not harder — for busy parents and families. First, the NDP made portables permanent, now they have introduced shifts for students. The chaos for families has to stop,” Rustad admonishes.

Three days ago, Surrey’s School Board announced that several schools in Surrey are going to have extended hours to deal with increased numbers of K-12 students. Laurie Larsen, Chair of the Surrey Board of Education, is quoted as saying: “extended day isn’t an option we want to implement”. In addition to extended hours, there are almost 400 portable trailers in Surrey currently being used as temporary K-12 classrooms.

“Conservatives will increase or maintain the teacher-to-student ratio by hiring more teachers, as needed, in Surrey and throughout BC. No teacher will lose so much as one day’s pay because of this policy, and no student will lose one-on-one time with their teacher,” continues Rustad.

“When I was attending high school in Prince George, we moved to extended hours. It was chaos. We had to attend classes that started at 7am… I can tell you firsthand, it sucked. We’re going to end portables and we’re going to end shifts for students, with this common sense solution,” concludes Rustad.

For more information please contact [email protected]