School district asks public for education priorities

School District 5 is making the future of public education a priority issue in advance of the May 14, 2013 election.

  • Mar. 12, 2013 6:00 p.m.

School District 5 is making the future of public education a priority issue in advance of the May 14, 2013 election.

At last Tuesday’s public board meeting in Fernie the board unanimously agreed to develop a new SD5 committee to define educational priorities in the district.

According to Board Chair Frank Lento adequate funding for the public school system is the central issue.

“There’s been a serious decline in resources for basic public education over the past decade,” said Lento.

“I know government has many competing demands, but choosing to provide inadequate funding for education undermines fundamentally our ability to prepare students to succeed and to adapt to a rapidly changing future. We need to choose to invest in the most important assets we have as a society – our school kids.”

The committee will focus on the four basic pillars of education; funding, buildings, programs (including the BC Education Plan) and technology, consistent with the British Columbia School Trustees Association (BCSTA) annual general meeting resolutions of 2012 and their We Value Public Education campaign.

“We know that districts across the province all share serious concerns similar to our own regarding funding shortfalls, ageing infrastructure, increased programming pressures and technology that’s inadequate to student learning needs,” said Lento.

“We want to highlight these priorities from a community perspective rather than a provincial one.”

According to Lento, input will be gathered from parent and community stakeholders using electronic surveys such as ThoughtStream, public forum(s) and current information available to the board.

The committee is expected to convene following the March spring break and recommendations will be made available to the public on an ongoing basis leading up to the May 14 election date.

For more information on the BC School Trustees Association’s We Value Public Education campaign, go to http://read.uberflip.com/i/98763/2.