Mackenzie Sends Letter to Min. of Education
Prince George, B.C.- B.C.’s Minister of Education has, by now, received a letter from the Mayor of Mackenzie asking that School District 57 be shifted to a ward system.
In the letter, Mackenzie Mayor Pat Crook requests ” a variation in the order of which School District 57 Trustees are to be elected.” Specifically, it calls for a ward system in which one trustee is elected in the Mackenzie area, one trustee elected in the Robson Valley and the remaining five Trustees be elected in Prince George.
The letter says more than 1000 of the students in School District 57 are attending classes outside the municipal boundary of Prince George.
According to the letter, of the 60 school districts in B.C., nearly half ( 28) “have provisions for geographic representation on their Board of Trustees.”
The letter isn’t the only action taken to back the request “We have over 500 signatures on a petition now” says Mayor Pat Crook . A petition supporting the request is also circulating in the Robson Valley and Crook says it has already collected more than a 100 signatures.
The issue has been simmering for more than a year . “There were concerns over costs” says Mayor Crook as there are concerns the School District’s Administration costs will have to increase to cover travel costs should a regional representation model be adopted “I don’t think that is a valid concern” says Crook, who says use of technology, such as Skype could reduce the added expense. “Not every meeting would be attended in person, I’m sure there is a skype system being used now. There will be more costs, but it won’t be coming out of the schools in Mackenzie, it will be coming out of the administration budget.”
With a Provincial election in the wind, Mayor Crook doesn’t know if there is enough time for the Minister of Education to act on the request before the writ is dropped and voters head to the polls. In the meantime, Mayor Crook will be making a presentation to the Board of Trustees for School District 57 on February 28th.