It isn’t clear if the City of Rossland will be appealing the School District 20 board of trustee’s decision to reject an offer for city taxation, says the city’s mayor.
Greg Granstrom said City council has not yet met to discuss the ramifications, if any, of the SD20 board decision to not accept a grant-in-aid from the City of Rossland.
Council made the decision to offer $145,000 per year in taxpayers money to the school district.
“As of now there are no other decisions of council to move in any direction,” he said.
The acceptance of the grant would have set in motion a city-wide referendum on the new level of taxation, and was part of the list of nine hurdles the board found with the City’s offer.
Those hurdles have settled the dust on the school board’s end of the spectrum as far as the issue of offering kindergarten to Grade 12 education in Rossland is concerned, said Darrel Ganzert, SD20 board chair.
“It’s pretty much the end of the options for us to change our mind,” he said about the vote on Monday night at the regular board meeting. “But part of the motion that was passed was that the superintendent and I approach the mayor and his council to make ourselves available to explain each and every one of the issues we had, all nine of them, so they understand fully the concerns that we had with their proposal.”
Trail school trustee Mark Wilson agreed.
“You would hate to say never, but right now we’re progressing as if it is a done deal and 10s to 12 are out to J.L Crowe (in Trail),” he said. “And it’s not a victory of one community against another, it’s an educational decision.”
Granstrom said the ultimate power in this decision lies with the school board, and, although City council will discuss the matter, trying to change the board’s view from the municipal end isn’t feasible.
“We always have to keep in mind that the school district is the board that is responsible to deliver public education, they are the legal entity. We can offer to help, but at the end of the day it is their decision,” he said.
For his part, Rossland school trustee Gordon Smith said his role going forward in SD20 will be to keep working for the Rossland school within the district context and work on the transition of grades 10 to 12 to Trail.
There will potentially be over 100 kids sent down the hill to Trail’s secondary school in fall.
“This could be an opportunity to work with students and staff to make a new school culture that everyone will benefit from,” Smith said.