Okanagan Similkameen school board to apply for rural school funds | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan Similkameen school board to apply for rural school funds


PENTICTON - Osoyoos Secondary School will stay open if recently announced funding is approved for the school.

It will be financially possible for the school district to keep Osoyoos’ only high school open for at least the next year should the recently announced Rural Education Enhancement Fund approve the district’s application for the school, Okanagan Similkameen School District 53 Board Chair Marieze Tarr said in an email today, Monday, June 27.

Tarr said the decision will be made by the board after they receive a notification of the exact amount of funding approved.

“We are grateful the ministry is recognizing the unique challenges of rural districts and that they have heard the advocacy of the boards across the province to be funded differently,” she said, adding the board regretted the “emotional roller coaster that these announcements have put the students, parents, and community members on."

Board co-chair Sam Hancheroff said the board applied for a total of $490,000, with $110,000 intended for school upgrades. The board's two Oliver trustees, Rob Zandee and Rachel  Allenbrand, voted against applying for the grant funds.

Hancheroff said the board may gather to vote later this week to rescind the school closure should the funds be granted. Hancheroff also noted a lawsuit filed against the board over the planned school closure could end up costing the district between $75,000 and $100,000 just in lawyer fees.

"That's a concern I have as well. That money will come from education funds. I don't know why Osoyoos council and some of the residents did this," he said, adding he was aware several Osoyoos students were already well on their way to making plans to attend Oliver Secondary School in the fall.

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