SD8 to keep $252,000 in administrative savings

Education Minister says districts are free to choose how to spend infusion.

SD8 board chair Lenora Trenaman (seen at right) doesn’t believe additional funding announced this week will make a significant difference to their operation or draft facilities plan

SD8 school board chair Lenora Trenaman is thrilled the Ministry of Education is funnelling an additional $252,000 their direction, but figures they’re still more than $2.5 million away from adequate funding.

“Any more money is great news to every district,” Trenaman told the Star. “But this year we had well over $4 million in requests for funding and when we were finished the budgeting process there was still an unmet $2.7 million.”

She said that means this new cash, which will probably be allocated later in the summer, is essentially a drop in the bucket a view shared by Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall.

“School districts have been underfunded and seen cuts for years, leading to the current province-wide realities of school closures, overcrowded classrooms and school maintenance deferrals,” Mungall said in a commentary that appears in full on page 6.

“This year, Vancouver school board alone considered cutting $24 million from its programs, services and staff while Osoyoos’s only high school is being closed.”

Education Minister Mike Bernier has announced districts can spend the money however they see fit hiring teachers, starting new programs or maintaining school infrastructure but Trenaman noted that because it’s a one-time payment it’s not “sustainable.”

“It’s not money we’ll receive year after year. It’s going to help and we’re glad for it, but it won’t make much of a difference.”

That being said, the district is pleased they’re given a choice on how exactly to spend the cash. SD8’s $252,383 is part of $25 million in administrative savings by districts across the province that the government is redirecting into “frontline services for students.”

“The BC School Trustees Association is pleased the Ministry of Education and government have been responsive to our ongoing advocacy,” said president Teresa Rezansoff.

“We thank them for engaging in open dialogue with us regarding the funding concerns of school districts. Local autonomy to allocate the money based on local priorities is important.”

But Trenaman doesn’t believe it will have any bearing on their continuing draft facilities plan, which has them considering the closure of six local schools due to declining enrolment and piling deferred maintenance costs.

“Honestly, we just wish we had enough funding for all the needs of our learners to be met,” she said. “In regards to the facilities plan, I don’t anticipate it will have an impact.”

 

Just Posted

What’s Up: Things to see and do on Family Day

There’s plenty of fun to be had across the West Kootenay this coming long weekend!

Seven Nelson rec projects granted Columbia Basin Trust funding

Nelson’s baseball and tennis clubs were the big winners

Sanchez leads Leafs to 6th straight win

Nelson held off Spokane 3-2 on Friday

UPDATE: Two-car accident closes Highway 3A at Thrums

Road expected to open for single-lane alternating traffic at 2 p.m.

CHECK THIS OUT: Love and e-Readers

Anne DeGrace on downloading new literary relationships

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Flying squirrels found to glow pink in the dark, including two from B.C.

Squirrels from Hope and Abbotsford were included in the biologists’ database

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

Most Read