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Provincial funds not enough to change Okanagan Similkameen School District closure scenario

Okanagan Similkameen School District Chair Marieze Tarr says yesterday's provincial funding announcement, on May 31, 2016, won't be enough to prevent the closure of Osoyoos Secondary School.
June 01, 2016 - 5:00 PM

OSOYOOS - An announcement of little more than $118,000 falls short of being able to keep Osoyoos Secondary School open.

Okanagan Similkameen School District Chair Marieze Tarr says yesterday’s provincial funding announcement, $118,100 in administrative savings, falls short of the amount needed to avoid closing the school.

Tarr’s conclusions echoed those of Vice Chair Sam Hancheroff’s comments prior to the board meeting yesterday, May 31. In an email today, Tarr said the funding would not be enough to overcome the financial and academic rationale for closure of the high school.

“We know the community, parents and students were hopeful the announcement might be enough and regret the emotional roller coaster this decision will have on everyone in the community,” Tarr wrote.

Tarr said the decision remained a difficult one, but said moving the students to South Okanagan Secondary School will 'greatly improve academic choices and support for students'.

With a greater numbers of students in one building there will be greater opportunities and flexibility in course offerings, she noted, in addition to providing students with access to advance placement courses.

Tarr said funds announced yesterday will be used to bring back secondary teacher time previously reduced to balance the budget, with any  remaining money going to schools for supplies and services.

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