School closure won’t save cash

Alberni school trustees should examine “all” the facts before making a decision to repurpose or close schools such as Wood or Gill

To the Editor,

I think it is wrong to close any of our remaining elementary schools. School trustees should be prepared to examine “all” the facts before making a decision to repurpose or close schools such as Wood or Gill.

Thirty-seven per cent of our property taxes are allocated to the school district budget.

The administrative budget should be examined to see if it could be cut. For example, at times of peak enrollment, there were four administrators at the board office: a superintendent, a director of instruction, a human resources director and a secretary treasurer. There are now eight positions despite declining enrolment.

We, as taxpayers, want spending of our tax dollars to be transparent. For example: annual publications of administrators’ salaries and expense accounts.

Such information is helpful to taxpayers when trying to decide if the district has too many administrators and if it’s being fiscally responsible to the taxpayer.

For example, could some of the tuition fees for the 200 incoming foreign students be used to help defray district transportation costs?

That number of new students exceeds the entire student enrolment in some of our elementary schools. How will that tuition money be allocated?

Our elected school trustees hold the future of our local students in their hands.

Their decision after the public meetings held this week will have repercussions years down the road.

Heather Mallory,

Port Alberni

(Editor’s note: School districts in B.C. are required under the Financial Information Act to annually reveal the salaries of employees earning more than $75,000. The schedule of remuneration and expense for 2012 was released to the public at the Dec. 11 school board meeting.)