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NEWS RELEASE · 2nd September 2010
Ministry of Education
The following facts provide a snapshot of British Columbia's public education system:

Enrolment

* 544,223 estimated full-time public school students for 2010-11 - a decrease of about 60,000 students since 2000 01, excluding enrolment changes resulting from the move to full-day kindergarten this year.
* 57,756 estimated full-time English-as Second-Language students for 2010-11 - 41 fewer than in 2009-10.
* 52,997 estimated full-time Aboriginal students for 2010-11 - 112 more than in 2009-10.
* 23,323 estimated full-time students with special needs for 2010-11 - 24 fewer than in 2009-10.
* 7,584 estimated full-time adult students for 2010-11 - one fewer than in 2009-10.

Early Learning

* $280 million over three years to implement full-day kindergarten for more than half of all five-year-olds this fall and all eligible children by September 2011.
* $144.5-million capital investment that will help ensure 665 new and upgraded classrooms are available to help meet the needs of our full-day kindergarten learners in September 2011.
* $43-million investment for more than 310 StrongStart BC programs, which provide school-based early learning services for parents or caregivers and their children, five years or younger, at no cost to families.
* In 2009-10, there were more than 473,000 visits to StrongStart BC programs with more than 24,000 children participating, nearly double the numbers from 2008-09.
* StrongStart BC centres build on the success of Ready, Set, Learn, a kindergarten readiness program. Over the last five years, the Province has provided $17 million to operate the program.

Achievement

* The six-year provincial secondary school completion rate was 79 per cent in 2008-09.
* The average pass rate for courses with required provincial exams was 95 per cent.
* 2,519 students received Grade 12 Graduation program Examinations Scholarships in 2008-09 for scoring high marks on Grade 12 provincial exams. Another 2,986 students received the Dogwood District/Authority Awards in 2008-09 for demonstrating superior achievement in Fine Arts, Applied Skills, Physical Activity, or Second Languages.
* 901 students received B.C. school completion certificates. These certificates recognize the accomplishments of students, including students with special needs, who succeed in meeting the goals of their educational program other than graduation.
* 71,405 students took at least one online (distributed learning) course in 2009-10. That compares to just 33,022 students three years ago. * In 2008-09, 33 per cent of graduating students had taken at least distributed learning course.

Healthy Schools

* Every public school student in B.C. is required to participate in Daily Physical Activity. K-9 students do 30 minutes each day and Grade 10-12 students do 150 minutes each week.
* The sale of unhealthy foods and beverages to students was eliminated in all elementary schools in January 2008 and in all middle and secondary schools in B.C. in September 2008.
* Last year, more than 25,000 students from 154 B.C. schools participated in the Walking School Bus and Bicycle Train program to promote safe and green student travel to and from school.

Class Size

* For the fourth consecutive year, more than 95 per cent of classes in school districts throughout B.C. had 30 or fewer students in 2009-10.
* More than 99 per cent of classes had 32 or fewer students.
* A total of 5,473 classes had 15 or fewer students in 2009-10.
* B.C. now has one of the lowest student teacher ratios ever: 16.4 students per teacher.
* There were 67,473 classes being offered in public schools in 2009-10.
* As a result of 3,350 FTE students, there were 884 fewer classes.
* There were 62 more education assistants last year, bringing the total to 8,877.
* There were 16,630 classes with assigned education assistants last year - an increase of 279 over 2008-09.
* There were no kindergarten classes with more than 22 students and no classes from grades 1-3 with more than 24 students in 2009-10.

Funding

* Estimated operating funding to school districts is a record $4.66 billion this year - a $112-million increase over 2009-10, which includes full funding for the teachers' wage settlement and full funding for the implementation of full-day kindergarten.
* Since 2000-01, the Province has increased funding to B.C. public schools by more than $1.3 billion: $919 million - a 25 per cent increase - in operating funding and $407 million in one time grants.
* The Province is delivering an estimated $8,301 in average per-pupil funding in 2010-11 - the highest ever, a $105 increase over 2009-10 and a $2,039 increase since 2000-01.
* Since 2000-2001, enrolment has declined by an estimated 60,000, excluding enrolment changes resulting from the move to full-day kindergarten.
* Total funding for students with special needs is now an estimated $834 million dollars a year.
* $1.5 billion is being invested to upgrade schools to make them seismically safer; the most comprehensive seismic plan ever undertaken by a B.C. government.
* Currently, 121 school seismic projects have been completed, are under construction or are proceeding to construction.
* Since 2001, the Province has spent more than $1.7 billion to complete 80 new and replacement schools, 148 additions, 26 renovation projects and 22 site acquisitions across B.C. All new and replacement schools have been constructed to meet the latest seismic standards.
* By the end of 2010-11, the Province will have committed more than $3.9 billion in school capital and maintenance projects.