Summerland Mayor Peter Waterman would see the municipality and a local Summerland school board merge administrative services.

Mayor wants creation of a Summerland only school board

A proposed pilot project would see the municipality and a local Summerland school board merge administrative services.

A proposed pilot project, suggested by Mayor Peter Waterman, would see the municipality and a local Summerland school board merge administrative services.

Waterman introduced the project earlier this month and municipal council expects to discuss it further at the upcoming Union of B.C. Municipalities conference in Victoria.

The project would involve the creation of a Summerland school board, similar to the model which was in place prior to 1996, when Summerland had its own school district, separate from Penticton.

The proposed project would merge administrative services between the municipality and the new school board.

“Council is excited about the opportunity to discuss the idea with the community, political leaders, teachers and other stakeholders to determine whether moving forward with the project would be a benefit to Summerland,” Waterman said.

He added that the concept is a model other communities could follow, decreasing administrative costs and channeling school funding into schools.

Linda Van Alphen, chair of the Okanagan Skaha School Board, said a pilot project is already in place, sharing services between the school district and the Regional District, City of Penticton and the Penticton Indian Band. She said Summerland’s council signed this agreement in July.

Van Alphen questions whether a separate Summerland school district would result in financial savings.

“You still have to have all the specialized staff, your support and the people who have to deliver the B.C. curriculum,” she said.

Connie Denesiuk, a former school trustee, former chair of the Okanagan Skaha School Board and former president of the B.C. School Trustees’ Association said proposals similar to Waterman’s pilot project have been suggested in previous years, from other communities.

“That resolution, in one form or another, has come up at the Union of B.C. Municipalities a number of times,” she said.

One limiting factor, which led to discussions about closures over the past year, has been the amount of funding for school districts.

Under the present model, school districts receive money based on the number of students. School districts with declining student populations will see their funding decrease and must make cuts or close schools in order to balance their budgets.

Earlier funding models were not based strictly on a per student basis, Denesiuk said. As a result, earlier school boards did not face the same financial challenges as present boards are facing.

She said consolidating school districts had been done in order to save money at the administrative level. This in turn leaves more money to be used in the classroom rather than at the management level.

“The bigger your district the more effective you can become,” she said.

 

Just Posted

Interior Health managers voice discontent

Negative comments about work culture aimed at CEO Chris Mazurkewich.

Video: Bulky bobcat goes for a stroll

Bob Lindley shared a video of a sneaky bobcat strolling through his yard in Vernon.

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Kelowna - Students were unaware of resources on campus

Osoyoos man faces 13 criminal charges

Charges stem from an investigation of a break and enter in Osoyoos

Help shape Penticton

Your chance to have a say starts tonight at the Shape Your City storefront

OK Falls pot shop vandalized a week after opening

Windows were smashed Wednesday evening and spray paint called the owner a “goof” and a “pedo”

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

EDITORIAL: With harassment allegations, students deserve better at UBCO

The lack of communication with students isn’t good enough for the Kelowna campus

Physical altercation turns to online threats in Celista

Police were called to a Shuswap ice rink after a group of men physically fought each other

Arson suspect heads to court

Vernon man suspected of starting a string of 2014 fires in Vernon

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Former B.C. fire chief gets seven months for possession of child porn

The 63-year-old pleaded guilty during a brief hearing last year to one count

B.C. VIEWS: Public school ‘crisis’ doesn’t exist

More teachers pour in, union wants results suppressed

Most Read