HELSTON: Frustrated with school cuts and closures? Here's who you should talk to - InfoNews

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HELSTON: Frustrated with school cuts and closures? Here's who you should talk to

Charlotte Helston is the Vernon reporter for InfoNews.
April 01, 2016 - 2:19 PM

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
Vernon, BC
V1T 2H2

Phone: (250) 503-3600
Fax: (250) 503-3603

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo
PO Box 607
Suite 202A 371 Alexander ST NE
Salmon Arm, BC
V1E 4N7
Phone: (250) 833-7414
Toll Free: (877) 771-7557
Fax: (250) 833-7422

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson
Suite 102 – 2121 Ethel St.
Kelowna, BC
V1Y 2Z6
Phone: (250) 712-3620
Fax: (250) 712-3626

Penticton MLA Dan Ashton
210-300 Riverside Drive
Penticton, B.C.
V2A 9C9
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
V4T 2L4

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.

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