Alberni’s Haahuupayak to benefit from new school funding model

A new agreement with on reserve schools and the federal and provincial governments could benefit Haahuupayak School in Alberni.

Haahuupayak Grade 3-4 teacher Jessicca Neilsen walks students through a composition exercise. The teachers are paid on average 15 per cent less than teachers in School District 70. That could change after a new funding agreement was signed with government and  on-reserve schools on Jan. 27.

Haahuupayak Grade 3-4 teacher Jessicca Neilsen walks students through a composition exercise. The teachers are paid on average 15 per cent less than teachers in School District 70. That could change after a new funding agreement was signed with government and on-reserve schools on Jan. 27.

Haahuupayak School could receive equal funding to Alberni Valley public schools as a result of a new agreement with the federal and provincial governments, said Haahuupayak School board member Martin Watts.

The B.C. First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) along with the federal and provincial governments announced the Tripartite Education Framework Agreement on Jan. 27.

The agreement equalizes per pupil funding, which at on-reserve schools was 25 per cent less on average than that of public schools in School District 70.

The agreement also promises $15 million annually to support on-reserve schools and FNESC, and  includes funding that mainstream schools receive for technology.

Standards have also been set out that will allow First Nations students to transfer between First Nations and mainstream schools at accepted achievement levels without academic penalty.

The agreement impacts 131 on-reserve schools in B.C. and takes effect September 2012.

Haahuupayak school is located on lands in the Tseshaht First Nation and run by an independent society.

“Our schools were vastly under-funded and a lot of years of work went into this new agreement,” Watts said.

There are 100 students enrolled this year: 61 off reserve and 39 on reserve.

Funding for students off reserve is underwritten by the province.

For on-reserve students, the school receives its funding from the Tseshaht First Nation after it is disbursed from the federal government to the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council.

A working group of representatives from the tribe and school has been struck to work out how the new indexed arrangement will work.

The Tseshaht have until sometime in March to support the initiative via band council resolution.

“We’ve got a better line of communication and more transparency with the band now,” Watts said.

Accessing new school resources and updating technology are other bonuses but the biggest impact could be on teacher’s salaries, which at Haahuupayak are up to 15 per cent less than those of their counterparts in the district.

“We’ll be better able to retain teachers now,” Watts said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Aidan See played for the North Island Silvertips during the 2019-2020 season. (PHOTO COURTESY RON HAYES)
VIJHL: Port Alberni Bombers add hometown talent to roster

Junior B hockey club signs Aidan See, Blake Power and Grayson Erickson

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read