Thursday, August 11, 2016

Decisions to make for SD52 with transportation funding made available by Province

The Provincial Government announced
additional funding for transportation
for 2016-17, but whether SD52 will
seek its share remains unclear
(photo from BC Gov't)
School District 52's elected officials aren't scheduled to meet until month, but when they reconvene on September 13th they'll have more than a few things to address for a new school year.

Beyond outlining for the public what they plan to do about the still vacant seat on the School District council, one of the first items that may be on their Agenda will be how to respond to the prospect of 117,597 dollars that is being offered to the School District towards transportation issues in the region.

The Provincial Government issued a media release on Wednesday providing some background towards their announcement of a new Student Transportation Fund for School Districts to access, designed to expand or reduce the cost for affordable transportation options across the province.

To be eligible for the funding, School Districts must submit a plan to the Ministry of Education by September 30th, 2016 outlining how they will use the available funding to boost transportation services for students and families.

Details on the new funding can be reviewed herethe full list of money to be made available to the province's School Districts can be found at the bottom of the media release in the backgrounder advisory.

The prospect of extra funding however poses a bit of a dilemma for School District 52 which voted to eliminate its involvement with transportation issues back in April as part of their deliberations on the 2016-17 School District Budget process.

During the course of those discussions, Board Chair Tina Last noted that the School District was not obligated to provide transportation for students as part of their mandate towards delivering education on the North Coast.

Those comments led to communities such as Metlakatla to consider their options for transportation of students to Prince Rupert for the 2016-17 school year.

Whether the prospect of close to 120,000 dollars in funding will give the School District cause to reconsider that position could make for some of the discussion as the new school year gets underway.

Those discussions however will have to take note of the deadline of September 30th that is in place, making for a timeline from decision to action plan that could be a very short one.

Wednesday's funding announcement marks the latest in funding returns to School Districts in British Columbia, the province previously returned 25 million dollars in administrative savings to School Districts.

As we noted on the blog in June, School District received $123,861  from that administrative distribution.

More items related to education on the North Coast can be found on our archive page.

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