Theme 7: Rural Schools Support Jobs and the Economy

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There were many comments that highlighted the connection between rural schools and the health of the local economy. It was made clear that without rural schools, rural industry would struggle to attract workers, and that existing families would be unable to stay in a community without a strong rural school.

Many contributors felt that a community cannot thrive without schools because a community cannot thrive without young families. In particular, it was expressed that there is a mutual benefit for a school to be connected to local businesses, as the school community generates customers for local business owners and, in turn, the school gets support from local business owners.

Several people talked about the rising housing costs in rural areas and the impact of rural schools on property values.

There was also a comment about the importance of rural schools for students completing a dual credit program for first and second year post-secondary studies without leaving the community. This helps save tuition and housing costs in those years.

Question: How else do rural schools impact jobs and the economy?

3 responses to “Theme 7: Rural Schools Support Jobs and the Economy

  1. Wayne

    K-12 education within the community is essential to community growth and economic development. Take away the schools and you take away the people. It's just that simple.

  2. Rhonda

    In Rural BC, we really have to build up local, sustainable economies, i.e. refer to Simon Fraser University's Community Economic Development Certificate Program.
    So much of the timber is gone – and our region has suffered the "Fall Down" in the Logging Industry – and subsequently, 8 schools have closed since 2002…
    We must build sustainable economies – not economies built on "grab it, deplete it, and run"! When we have sustainable jobs – young families will move to our communities!

  3. Alexander

    I agree with the observations made in the summary. But one important aspect that has not been mentioned is the potential contribution of rural schools in the development and diversification or local businesses. I strongly believe that the heydays of the giant resource extraction operators are gone. I don't regret that either; exporting our resources in unprocessed form is a crime because it destroys jobs and it limits people's mental horizons. Schools can help turn that around by educating for professional skills that are necessary in the creation of numerous products from our natural resources by small local industries. Government can support this by slapping import duties on those cheap Asian products – which British Columbians could improve on in so many ways!

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