LETTERS: SD 20 trustee responds to MP's column

By Contributor
February 19th, 2011

I was very pleased to read Alex Atamanenko’s letter in the Castlegar Source. Alex correctly identifies the need for the Ministry of Education to create a funding formula and community use directive to meet the educational and the community school usage needs in small B.C. communities. Instead of our local communities fighting with one another for the dwindling financial and physical resources in our schools, cities and regional districts, we should be banding together to advocate for fairer resources and practicing the best use of the resources that are left in our communities.
It should go without saying that government funding formulas need to be reviewed from time to time by the Ministry. The Board of Education of our school district is constantly advocating to the Ministry of Education the need for further and fairer allocation of funds for our schools.
A popular concept these days is multi-tasking. Another concept we should adopt with equal vigor is multi-usage. The resources of schools cities, regional districts, government agencies and government funded activities should be utilized as common capacity-building resources. An excellent example of this multi-usage resource concept is the growing interrelationship between James L Webster Elementary and the Village of Warfield. The school and the Village have partnered to establish an early childcare centre and an art facility. The school gets the contact with parents of young children and more effective usage of space and the community gets needed community services and resources.
The James L. Webster and Village of Warfield projects should be the example for further resource-sharing between the levels of our local governments. These projects were achieved with small financial investments by the school district and the Village. Their value is a large addition to the life of the school and the Village community. In today’s world we should not be advocating to the provincial government why we should share local government resources– we should be explaining why we are not!
As a school trustee my sympathies have always been with keeping schools open. Along with this general belief, I appreciated the creative efforts of the school and the Village to create new ways of keeping their school as a vibrant and connected part of their community. The Webster/Warfield community capacity-building effort shows – maybe it is time to stop closing schools and start opening our minds!
Through your comments, thanks Alex, for making us think in different ways about the issues facing us and our communities.

M. V. Kinakin

Categories: Politics