School board, MLA want rural education report released

The Okanagan Skaha board and MLA Linda Larson hope the province releases a rural education report

  • Feb. 27, 2018 10:55 a.m.

School District No. 67 (Okanagan Skaha) wants a provincial rural education review released and the person responsible for the report MLA Linda Larson agrees.

On Monday night, the school board voted in favour of writing a letter to the Minister of Education requesting the results from the Rural and Remote Education Review, completed spring of 2017, be released.

“I understand why they want it released. It should be released. There’s nothing of harm it at all,” the Boundary Similkameen MLA said from Victoria Monday evening.

Larson undertook preparing the report in her role as parliamentary secretary for rural education when the Liberal government was in power. She said there wasn’t time to release the report formally before the switchover in government. She hoped it would be released last summer, but it wasn’t.

“We did a provincial report on rural schools and it was completed last spring and went to the minister. Then the changeover of government happened and it was not acted or released. It’s out of my hands. I don’t have the authority to release it,” she said.

Larson said data was collected through a series of public meetings and online from school boards with a goal of finding strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvements in rural and remote education.

“We received information from all over the province and basically it’s the same. Lack of teachers, unwilling to work in rural and remote areas, issues of transportation, difficulties for teachers to take extracurricular training,” she said.

Before the change of government last July, the Liberal government were able to implement some of the smaller enhancements incentives for teachers including covering moving expenses.

“We did a few things like that prior to the switchover, but the rest of the things are more involved,” she said.

Larson said she hopes the NDP government releases the report and moves forward with more ideas.

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