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October 28, 2017 1:21 am

School District’s Rural Education Committee Receives Financial Boost

Saturday, November 28, 2015 @ 3:50 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The Prince George School Board has allocated $20,000 in support of its Ad Hoc Committee on Rural Education.

The funds were taken from the $100,000 budgeted for the district’s strategic plan. According to the board this week, $46,600 of that amount was still available.school board

Committee chair and Trustee Bob Harris says it will be spent in two ways.

“Part of it will be used for the Stormy Lake people (Stormy Lake Consulting) who are conducting the consultation and part of it will be used to get people to the sites so that we can gather the information that we’re looking for.”

Formed last March, the committee is holding community consultation meetings in Mackenzie, McBride, Valemount, and Prince George (Pineview and Glenview).

(Meetings in the Robson Valley will take place Nov. 30, at Glenview on Dec. 2, Pineview Dec. 3, the Mackenzie meeting took place earlier this month).

Harris will then present a summary of the meetings to the Management and Finance Committee on December 10.

He says the committee was formed in order to address concerns the board has held since being elected.

“We had an opportunity to travel fairly extensively during the course of the election and all of us have had some experience in rural setting and we know what some of the challenges are as individuals,” says Harris.

“And we know that the needs are great. We’re just trying to ameliorate those differences.”

He says one challenge is declining enrolment. “Particularly at the secondary level and that’s why the board allocated an additional $75,000 last year for each of those secondary schools.”

Harris says that money was earmarked to help with programming.

“Because with very small enrolment it’s hard to get those senior classes, particularly if you only have a limited number of students, say four or five, who want to take a particular course,” he says.

“So to try and meet graduation requirements and at the same time help them get the additional requirements necessary for post-secondary education is a real challenge.”

He says funding is the other challenge considering most funding is allocated per student in British Columbia.

“I think the funding formula works well for some districts that are principally urban but they don’t work nearly as well for far flung districts like Prince George or the Cariboo or Skeena or any of those.”



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