Rossland resolution calls for look at rural education funding formula

Rossland city council will submit two resolutions for consideration to the Association of Kootenay Boundary of Local Governments.

Rossland city council will submit two resolutions for consideration to the Association of Kootenay Boundary of Local Governments (AKBLG). The two resolution both come as a result of the funding needs of the school district not being and the potential closures of Rossland schools.

In council last week, Mayor Greg Granstrom advised council that the AKBLG doesn’t want resolution that are similar to past ones coming through. Coun. Jill Spearn said she was confident that these are fresh resolutions from Rossland.

The first resolution asks that the Union of B.C. Municipalities request that the provincial government “content its commitment to build strong communities throughout the province.”

It asks that the Ministry of Education assist municipalities or local interests groups to develop creative solutions to keep schools open and to provide top-level education to students wherever they live in B.C.

The resolution notes that the government has recognized the unique needs of rural and small communities, as well as the importance of a stable sand effective education system to support a sustainable community. It also notes that closures can have a significant and long-term effect on the economic growth of a community, as well as a detrimental effect on students.

The second resolution asks that the provincial government immediately form a task force to undertake a comprehensive performance audit, review and possible revision of the funding formula for education in rural areas.

The purpose would be to “insure the fair funding, equal access and high quality education of public education throughout the province of British Columbia.”

The reasons given behind the second resolution are” “there has not been an adequate review of the effectiveness or fairness of the funding formula for B.C. school districts.”

The resolution also notes that the funding formula has resulted in substantial funding losses for rural school districts in the past ten years and has created “significant differences between various school districts by the application of inequitable criteria.”

The resolutions will be submitted for consideration to the AKBLG for its 2013 annual general meeting which is April 17-19.

For more information on the AKBLG click here.

For the Feb. 25 agenda package, which includes the resolutions, passed in the Feb. 13 council meeting, click here.

 

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