SD70 talks amalgamation with other school districts

Amalgamating with another school district and sharing services may be the only thing that stops school closures in the Alberni Valley

Amalgamating with another school district and sharing services may be the only thing that stops further school closures in the Alberni Valley.

SD70 trustees passed a motion calling for a meeting with the Vancouver Island School Trustees Association to discuss budgets, funding and shared services, as well as other financial discussions.

The meeting is considered an emergency and should be held as soon as possible, SD70 chair Larry Ransom said.

The motion’s bland wording belied a radical concept that Ransom said is necessary to stem the financial bleeding that is plaguing the district.

Specifically, Ransom wants to start a discussion about amalgamating school districts and sharing services. The district could seize the initiative with the discussion or eventually be seized by it through a government decision.

“We need to show leadership,” he said.“If we don’t do it government will do it for us, and we won’t like the picture.”

Ransom advocated for the district to launch its own talks with other districts. But trustees agreed that VISTA would be the best starting point.

“We need to entertain a discussion about what are our next steps,” Ransom said.

Trustee Pam Craig cautioned the move, saying there is little time before the district has to adopt its budget.

The idea is already being discussed in the broader context. There has already been discussion provincially about sharing legal services, payroll and resource allocation, secretary treasurer Lindsay Cheetham said.

“Everything is on the table as far as I’m concerned,” Ransom said.

Trustee Rosemarie Buchanan cautioned trustees that the Ministry of Education has already spoken against the move at a recent meeting.

“Peter Fassbender said that there will be no amalgamation of school districts in B.C.,” she said. “They’re not going to eliminate school boards.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

Port Alberni man dies in single-vehicle collision

Pickup truck with three occupants went off the road on first day of May long weekend

Alberni hosts Island track and field championship

Secondary schools compete at Bob Dailey Stadium

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

200,000 salmon smolts released in netpens for Alberni salmon enhancement

West Coast Aquatic has released 205,000 chinook smolts into two net pens… Continue reading

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

Friends and family playing huge role in search for Vancouver Island man

Volunteers from the public join forces with SAR crews

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title.

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Most Read