SD5 pushes for funding answers

SD5 board chair Frank Lento wants answers on funding a slew of government education recommendations.

  • Jan. 26, 2016 6:00 p.m.

Townsman Staff

At its public Board meeting last week, the School District 5 (SD5) Board of Education voted unanimously to write another letter to the Minister of Finance, Michael De Jong, requesting a progress update on the 2014 Report on the Budget recommendations for kindergarten through grade 12 (K – 12, as well as a request for progress on their 2015 and 2016 reports.

This annual report is put forward by an all-party committee (The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services) following province-wide public consultations on the provincial budget in accordance with the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act.

“At SD5 we feel that the Committee’s reports have accurately reflected the needs of K -12 public education and its level of public priority”, says SD5 Board Chair, Frank Lento. “This is why the Board would like to know what, if anything, has come of the Committee’s recommendations since 2014.”

According to Lento, previous Reports on the Budget have recommended government provide stable, sustainable and adequate funding, including capital funding. This year the Committee also recommended government review their current public education funding formula.

“Since October 2014 we’ve written three letters to the Minister of Finance asking for updates on what government has done – or plans to do with these recommendations– but to date our Board hasn’t received even a cursory reply. Last week we voted to send a fourth letter,” said Lento. “I have to say that it’s disappointing –disrespectful in fact—when the elected representatives for education in the East Kootenay can’t get a response to our concerns.”

Lento adds that these recommendations are too important to ignore. For this reason, the Board’s January 2016 letter has been addressed to Premier Christy Clark and Minister of Education Mike Bernier in addition to Minister of Finance, Michael De Jong.

“The provincial government’s own reports show –bang on, in my opinion—that funding for public K – 12 education should be a public spending priority, and that investment in this sector can increase achievement of economic and community goals. Ignoring these recommendations appears to be short-changing the economic potential of our students and that has to be fixed.”

Another issue that arose at the board meeting involved drafting school calendars to map out the next three years for teaching staff, to which will be available for public feedback from parents and the union.

The calendars feature the summer, christmas and spring breaks, along with professional development days and administrative days.

Board chair Frank Lento says the calendar will be distributed to teachers, parents and the union, among other stakeholders, for feedback before finalizing it.

“In the past, we go through an exercise—the ministry prescribes so many minutes, it’s all regulated by the ministry, so we do it yearly and it involves a lot of stakeholders,” he said. “Some of them directly impacted, such as the teachers, so they like to have some input and we do that.”

The calendar is part of a ministry-regulated requirement that needs to be done annually to ensure that teachers spend a certain amount of minutes per year in the classroom.

“The process is good, but it’s lengthly, given the modified calendar that we have with the modified four-day weeks, so it’s an attempt to do it over three years, so we’re looking at it now,” added Lento.

The draft calendars are available on the SD5 website at www.sd5.bc.ca.

 

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook.
Graduation ceremony in the works for MBSS Class of 2021

The Mount Bake Secondary School Class of 2021 will have a graduation… Continue reading

After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Wasa Triathlon is being organized for August. Bulletin file photo.
Information released for Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon scheduled for August

In 2020 the COVID pandemic forced the Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon to… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read