While school trustees across the Okanagan have been bearing the brunt of the blame for cuts and closures, those with the real power seem to have avoided the spotlight.
Trustees may not be popular for the tough decisions they make, but the truth is, there are limits to how many schools and programs they can save — unless they start pulling money out of a grad cap.
The job of a school trustee is to decide how best to disperse funding across the district — and in this they must be held accountable. But they only get so much cash from the province, and while they’ve made no secret of their desire for a bigger piece of the pie, they won’t get it until the government pulls a bigger pie out of the oven.
Despite this fact, it hasn’t been MLAs sitting in front of crowds of angry parents or receiving hundreds of frustrated emails. That’s the fun job trustees were awarded when they signed up for this ungrateful task.
School districts are being forced to balance the books with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cut funding, some of it due to declining enrolment, and it’ll be deja vu every year until the root of the problem is addressed. That’s where provincial politicians come in.
Our MLAs have email addresses, phone numbers, and local constituency offices. If education is important to you, tell your elected representative and implore them to take it to the legislature. They hold the key to increased funding, not trustees.
Find below the office locations, phone numbers and emails for local MLAs.
Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster
3209- 31st Avenue
Phone: (250) 503-3600
Fax: (250) 503-3603
Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo
PO Box 607
Suite 202A 371 Alexander ST NE
Salmon Arm, BC
Phone: (250) 833-7414
Toll Free: (877) 771-7557
Fax: (250) 833-7422
Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson
Suite 102 – 2121 Ethel St.
Phone: (250) 712-3620
Fax: (250) 712-3626
Penticton MLA Dan Ashton
210-300 Riverside Drive
Phone: (250) 487-4400
Toll free: (866) 487-4402
Fax: (250) 487-4405
Westside-Kelowna MLA Christy Clark
#3-2429 Dobbin Road
West Kelowna, BC
Phone: (250) 768-8426
Fax: (250) 768-8436
To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.