Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes has responded to Wednesday night’s school board meeting in which she faced harsh criticism over provincial funding.
Oakes says it’s difficult to say on one hand that the province isn’t’ giving enough money, while on the other hand choices are being made to close schools where funding is guaranteed.
“To be clear the choice that the School District Trustees made removes $330,000 provincial funding-guaranteed provincial funding that we provide to schools off the table.”
As for criticism by the President of CUPE BC, Oakes had this to say.
“It was pretty rich for the gentleman to fly in from Vancouver for the night to criticize myself and the work that we’ve been doing, without any idea of the work that myself and my office has been doing directly with the parents and with the community. I mean I’ve been out to the communities, I held meetings with them.”
Oakes, who did not attend the meeting as she was doing some behind the scenes work for Thursday’s announcement on the Rural Dividend Fund, says not only does School District 28 get rural school funds, they also get guaranteed funding protection by the province.
“School District 28 actually receives almost the highest amount of money in the school districts in the province…while our school population has dropped dramatically almost in half, the province is still using a funding formal with funding protection that funds to the extent of where it was almost double.”
The Board voted to close Ecole Baker Elementary, Parkland Elementary and Kersley Elementary School effective June 30,2016.
The District according to Chair Tony Goulet is getting over $634,000 thousands dollars less then they received last year.