EDITORIAL: Summerland wants to split from school district

Separating into two school districts would mean duplicating administration, and the cost wouldn’t be paid by Summerland council

It seems a little odd, at a time when finding efficiencies is paramount for all levels of government, that Summerland City Council is talking about creating a separate school district.

Especially since school districts fall under the jurisdiction of the province, through the Ministry of Education — municipal, or even regional governments have little to say in how they are created or run.

That’s part of the problem, of course. The Okanagan Skaha School Board’s choice of Trout Creek Elementary as one of three schools to close is still a sore point for Summerland council. But even if Summerland had remained a separate school district, as it was before amalgamation in 1996, they would still have been faced with the same problems of shrinking enrolment and budgets with too few students for the available space.

We can understand the desire of Summerland council to have control over everything that affects their community, but even if they were granted a separate school board, municipal council still wouldn’t have any say — a board of trustees would have to be elected to make those decisions.

Nor is Summerland unrepresented on the current Okanagan Skaha School Board — two of the seven seats are earmarked for that community. Both of those representatives voted in favour of closing Trout Creek Elementary, though both struggled with the decision.

It’s worthwhile noting that Trout Creek and West Bench Elementary weren’t saved by anything the school board did, but by the ex machina hand of the province suddenly finding a stack of money to create the rural enhancement fund with, several weeks after the school board had finished their investigation, review and decision-making, a process that took 10 months.

Separating into two school districts would mean duplicating administration, and the cost for that duplication wouldn’t be paid by Summerland council, but by the students in the schools. More money for administration equals less money in the classroom.


Just Posted

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
UPDATE: Fire above Naramata is an illegal open burn

Smoke is still billowing from the blaze Friday morning

Rob and Anthony are the city’s new parking ambassadors who are sharing information with businesses and the public about the new pay parking. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Penticton hires team to inform people on city’s new pay parking system

The pair will spend at least a month helping businesses and residents navigate new pay parking system

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

Keremeos’ heritage Grist Mill and Gardens. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Keremeos Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

Juno Award-winning folk artist Valdy is set to take the stage

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

Himalayan Life helped finance the construction of Nepal’s Yangri Academic Centre and dormitories after a 2015 earthquake devastated the valley, killing more than 9,000 people. (Screen grab/Peter Schaeublin)
B.C. charity founder pledges to rebuild Nepalese school swept away by flash floods

Six years after an earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, Nepal faces another catastrophy

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Most Read