Three Coquitlam schools being chopped

The Coquitlam School Board has decided to close three elementary schools to deal with its budget crunch. The Burquitlam, Cedarbrook and Montgomery schools will be closed later this year.

The Coquitlam School Board has decided to close three elementary schools to deal with its budget crunch. The Burquitlam, Cedarbrook and Montgomery schools will be closed later this year.

But even more cuts and layoffs are in the works. Board chair Holly Butterfield says the closures will only take care of 10 per cent of the board's $8.7 million shortfall.

"Our budget process hasn't started yet," she says. "But it's safe to say the cuts are going to be drastic."

Butterfield says the three schools were chosen because they're seriously under-enrolled at less than 60 per cent capacity.

The closure decision was not unanimous. Trustee Keith Watkins voted against it because he believes there are other ways to cut costs.

"And that budget question will be here next year and the next year and the next year," he says.

Watkins says despite the declining enrollment at the three schools, he says he's a strong believer that small schools offer better education.