Inner-city kids will be most affected when the Vancouver School Board releases its balanced budget tomorrow, says Jenny Kwan, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant.

“They have no choice but to table a balanced budget, but let’s be clear, that would mean cuts in programs,” she said. “They would hurt the students in the system and in the inner city. It would hurt the most vulnerable kids.”

The VSB was told by Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid to address its $17-million shortfall and was given several recommendations by the comptroller general, including eliminating services not mandated like kindergarten for four-year-olds at some inner-city schools.

Kwan said the community centre at Lord Strathcona Elementary in East Vancouver is also likely to be affected.

“When the inner-city kids don’t have the programs in the school, where are they going to go? I guess go down to the Downtown Eastside and hang out on the street corner. Or they can engage in a school program or a community centre program.”

One of the comptroller’s recommendations is to increase fees.

“Non-profits are running these programs for our community. Where are they going to get the money to pay for these rent increases?” Kwan asked.

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