Alberni school cuts into the bone now

Funding pressures now cutting into the bone at School District 70 are forcing trustees to balance the books by closing an elementary school

The Alberni Valley school district is in the unenviable position of having to choose an elementary school to close as waning enrolment, slashed transportation funding and rising costs have forced trustees into a corner.

It was only two years ago that the district was looking at closing a school—yes, Gill and Wood were on that list too—to help solve a $1.8 million deficit. Efficiencies were found at the time. But the budgets have been scraped so clean that there are few significant efficiencies to be found.

It was telling that at the first public school closure meeting, parents and teachers who stood to speak talked of ‘when’ a school closes, not ‘if’.

The issue is dividing our city again, as those whose children attend the schools on the potential chopping block are protecting what they feel is theirs. We are still feeling the fallout of 10 years ago, when the district closed five schools in one year.

Generations ago, schools were the centres of our communities. Sadly, this is no longer the case; and it is a provincial problem, as SD70 is not the sole victim.

We blame the provincial government for putting our district in this position. So many costs have been downloaded onto municipal school boards, yet the per-student funding has remained dismally low.

Our students deserve an optimal learning environment, yet how can we honestly say they are getting it if our school trustees and staff are constantly having to cut back?

No one will win in this situation. Especially the students.

— Alberni Valley News

Just Posted

City of Port Alberni ponders future of uptown train station

Developer interest in heritage building prompts discussion on uptown revitalization

Join a food asset mapping focus group in Port Alberni

Learn about food mapping heritage in Port Alberni and Clayoquot Sound

Somass River sockeye fishery estimates cut in half

Local fisheries closed; poor ocean survival a prime suspect

‘Lightning’ hits Sproat Lake for annual regatta

Alberni Valley Regatta Association hosted sixth annual races

Port Alberni track and field athletes excel at BC championships

Pair brings home titles in javelin, hammer throw

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

15-year-old with imitation gun caused ‘dynamic’ scene at Nanaimo mall

No one was harmed in Monday’s incident, say Nanaimo RCMP

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

Vancouver Island mom says she will go to court overseas to try to get daughter back

Tasha Brown says her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Most Read