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Okanagan-Skaha school board can't keep budget cuts from impacting students

Okanagan-Skaha board chair Linda Van Alphen says cuts to provincial funding means it will be impossible to keep budget cuts from impacting students in the classroom.
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March 27, 2015 - 8:22 AM

PENTICTON - The Okanagan-Skaha school district is no different than any other in the province when it comes to budgeting — there isn't enough money coming from the province to keep spending cuts out of the classroom.

The province announced how much funding the school districts would be getting just before spring break and it included a $29-million dollar cut.

The Okanagan-Skaha school board recently wrote what the trustees called a “strong letter” to local MLA’s Dan Ashton and Linda Larsen, with copies sent to the Education Minister the Finance Minister and Premier Christy Clark, according to board chair Linda Van Alphen in a email.

“We referenced the recommendations of the Report on the Budget 2015 Consultations to the select standing committee on finance and government services,” she says. “We also put together a list of budget cuts the school district has made over the past five years which total $6.25-million."

"Specifically, we’ve indicated there was no 'low hanging fruit’ in Okanagan-Skaha school district."

Alphen says budget cuts that will be required by school district 67 for the 2015-16 school year will be “in the neighbourhood of $1.165 million, noting $320,000 of that was a direct result of the $29-million province wide cut.

The school board will be hosting a number of budget meetings beginning in April. Parents, school unions and the public are all welcome to attend and provide input.

“Our goal during budget deliberations has always been to keep cuts away from the classroom. However, for the 2015-2016 school year, the government had handed us an impossible task,” wrote Van Alphen in the email.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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