PG School Board Chair Reveals 2017 Wish List
Prince George, B.C. – Prince George School Board Chair Tim Bennett didn’t blink an eye when asked what topped his wish list for 2017.
“There are definitely a few things that the board is really hoping for on our wish list. First off would be looking at the recommendations from the Select Standing Committee,” he said in a year-end interview with 250News.
“It would be great if we were able to see a provincial budget and subsequent budgets that are implementing the recommendations from the Standing Committee with regards to sustainable and adequate funding for public education.”
For example, Bennett said additional supports for “our rural students.”
“School District 57 is 52,000 square kilometres made up of primarily four main communities: Prince George, Mackenzie, Valemount and McBride. But also, a lot of other little rural communities in between,” he says.
“And we want to make sure that students have equal opportunities for public education regardless of where they live in our district.”
Bennett says “predictable funding” in 2017 would also be a nice bonus.
“2016 was a really unique year in the fact that we had five or six funding announcements that came after the approval of the (provincial) budget. And we want to work with government to ensure that we are able to properly plan and make decisions because we know what money is coming.”
And considering 2017 is a provincial election year, he says he’d love to see the province fund a new building for Kelly Road Secondary School.
“Our district does have a capital plan and of course Kelly Road has been at the top of the capital plan for many years (at an estimated cost of $42.6 million) so 2017 would be an amazing opportunity to announce a new building if that was at all possible.”
He says the board would also love to see their roughly $3 million annual facility grant beefed up.
“Our staff does an amazing job keeping our buildings clean and safe but our annual facility grant funding only goes so far so additional funding for that pool would also allow us to do some of that routine maintenance that needs to be done in our facilities across the district.”