“Last month, The Sun reported preliminary results of a Vancouver school board survey that found many families are leaving Vancouver due to the high cost of housing.
The purpose of the survey was to pinpoint the cause of the declining enrolments, which is bad news for school boards because fewer students means less government funding and difficult decisions about cuts to spending and closing schools.
In each of the past three years, the Vancouver school district has had a net loss of 600 to 700 students, the report shows. A typical elementary school in Vancouver has about 300 children.
Tracking where the students who left Vancouver schools went isn’t easy; there is no central source of this information.
Ministry of Education figures show a drop of about 10,000 students in all B.C. schools between 2008 and 2013, which could be attributed to people having smaller families, people moving out of the province or other factors.
While it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly where Vancouver’s students are going, at least some of them are heading to the eastern suburbs.
Catherine Cowan and husband Trevor are among those families, moving to Heritage Mountain in Port Moody from Burnaby in 2006, primarily because of the lower cost of housing but also for the town’s livability, good schools and community feel. Before moving to Burnaby, they lived in Vancouver.
“We bought a townhouse (in Port Moody) in 2006, sold it in 2011 and bought a house. We couldn’t have done that in Vancouver. Absolutely not.”
– from ‘Go East: Families leave Vancouver for suburbs Surrey, Coquitlam, Langley school enrolments rise while more expensive areas see decline, Tracy Sherlock and Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun, 4 July 2013 [hat-tip RESkeptic]