Province pondering cuts to IPSEA revenue

Move would reduce funds for district school boards in B.C.

The Province is considering taking a slice of local school districts’ revenue from international student programs — which concerns the Comox Valley Board of Education.

School District 71 superintendent Sherry Elwood filled trustees in on the situation during last week’s Board of Education meeting, noting the issue came up at an International Public School Education Association (IPSEA) meeting.

“In the November meeting, quite suddenly to be fair, the government made a funding proposal to IPSEA that would have government receiving money from districts, basically a surcharge for every student that we bring in and money would go directly to the Ministry of Education,” said Elwood, noting IPSEA is a steering committee including the 24 school districts in B.C. that bring international students into their schools.

Elwood noted there “wasn’t a lot of meat” around the government’s potential plan, but the idea was that the Ministry would use the money to offer a variety of services. However, Elwood added districts already provide “very many” of the services outlined.

She noted the conversation at the IPSEA table was “difficult” and IPSEA wrote to the Ministry on behalf of all the districts involved asking for clarification on how the money would be spent and whether it plans to move forward with the idea, among other things.

“We’re waiting for some clarification from the Ministry and I suspect that IPSEA themselves will respond with some serious concerns over government taking a percentage of the fees that students bring to districts or a per person, per student ratio,” said Elwood, adding international student program sizes vary throughout the province, with some large ones in the Vancouver area.

And “a couple of them (districts)” have large off-shore international schools and so there’s lots of dollar value to the Ministry if they were to actually place a surcharge on international ed.

Elwood also noted there was talk around “leveling the playing field” by possibly setting limits on the number of international students per district — and introducing a flat rate for tuition across the province, which Elwood noted would pose a disadvantage for smaller districts.

“If it’s a flat rate for students to come and they can either pay the same amount of money to go to Vancouver or the same amount of money to go up into the Interior, Fort Nelson, it’s going to be very difficult for those smaller districts to market students to come to their districts,” she said.

About 215 to 225 international students are expected to come through the Comox Valley International Student Program by the end of this school year.

Although revenue was discussed, Elwood pointed out the revenue is a not the reason for the district’s international program.

“We don’t do it because of the revenue — revenue’s a by-product,” said Elwood. “We do it because it makes us better — it gives us opportunity to bring international students who live a very different life, and bring them into our schools and connect with our kids and become their friends, and have wonderful homestays, and we’re all better for that experience.”

Trustees voted in favour of a Janice Caton motion to write a letter to the Ministry expressing the board’s concerns over the government’s review of the International Student Program and asking for consultation before any changes are made.

 

Just Posted

A siren bank near Stotan Falls. Photo supplied
BC Hydro to test sirens along Puntledge River in Courtenay this week

Public safety is very important to BC Hydro, and it’s one of… Continue reading

NIC’s new president Lisa Domae assumed the role of president on April 12. Domae has worked at NIC since 2000, most recently as the executive vice president, academic and chief operating officer. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
New North Island College president launches draft strategic plan

Lisa Domae assumed the role of president on April 12, 2021

Capt. Jenn Casey died in a crash just outside of Kamloops, B.C., on May 17, 2020. (CF Snowbirds)
Snowbirds to honour Capt. Casey, who died in B.C. crash, in 2021 tour

Tour will kick off in Ontario in June before heading west

Artist's drawing of the proposed 52-unit affordable seniors housing project in Comox. File photo
Comox Valley Affordable Housing Society receives federal grant money

The Comox Valley Affordable Housing Society (CVAHS) has received $25,000 in grant… Continue reading

Mark Henderson’s exhibit, “Bikes and Barbies,” is now showing at Artful : The Gallery on Cumberland Road in Courtenay. Photo supplied.
New exhibit at Courtenay art gallery

Artful : The Gallery is showing art by Mark Henderson until Saturday,… Continue reading

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

More “strings of lights” were seen on May 15, 2021, in night sky over Vancouver Island. (File photo)
Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Most Read