Parents question school closure

Parents against the proposal of closing Oliver’s Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School are hoping the school board takes the option off the table.

Rachel Allenbrand, chair of the Save Oliver Schools committee, said an announcement made by the province on Friday regarding an increase of funding for Kindergarten to Grade 12 students squashes the reasoning for the school board to close Tuc-el-Nuit. The district’s capital plan released in November states financial pressures due to Ministry of Education cutbacks in funding protection means School District 53 could face a potential deficit of $875,843.

“We have funding now. We actually have more funding than we did last year,” said Allenbrand. “We feel what they have been pitching in their capital plan has been proven wrong by the information that we have gathered … we don’t understand why they would keep closing the school as an option.”

Oliver parents have banded together creating a website to share information and rally to keep the school open. The public is invited to comment on the website how the potential school closure will affect families and include suggestions or resources that would help School District 53 conserve money.

Public consultation meetings are scheduled for April 27 at the school board office and a second meeting on May 4 at Tuc-el-Nuit. Times for both of those meetings have not been set and will be announced at a closer date.

The school board was to come to a final decision on whether or not to close Tuc-el-Nuit and amalgamate with Oliver Elementary School at the May 25 school board meeting. The secretary-treasurer of the school board could not be reached for comment on the funding announcement.