“Doing nothing is not an option.”
That was a popular sentiment among Quesnel School Trustees last night as they voted in favour of closing three schools in the district.
Ecole Baker, Parkland and Kersley elementary schools will be closed prior to the next school year.
Board Chair Tony Goulet says when making the decision he looked at the whole district and how to educate all of the students in the best way that they can with the dollars that they have.
He says that’s the dilemma that they’re in and he says it’s getting even worse…
“From March 15th the Ministry of Education announced our operating grant and we’re going to be looking for almost $634,000 coming up in the 2016/2017 budget process. We’re going to be looking at even more than that when we take into other costs the government has been downloading on the Board time after time, day after day.”
The vote was not unanimous as Trustee Julie-Anne Runge felt that they needed to close facilities but that they didn’t have the correct solution.
Around 100 people attended last night’s meeting at Correlieu Secondary School including President of CUPE BC Paul Faoro who says the Premier is lying when she says she is increasing funding to public education.
“If you look at the numbers 24 million dollars out of this year were cut out of administration costs this year. These folks up here know what administration means and I can see them shaking their heads, agreeing with me.”
Faoro went on to say that those cuts were to front line staff, adding that the Premier at the same time just increased funding to private schools by 48 million dollars.
He also wanted to know what was more important than closing three Quesnel schools for local MLA Coralee Oakes.
Faoro urged the School Trustees and the audience to demand that Oakes obtain the proper funding to keep all schools operating in Quesnel now and into the future.