Okanagan Skaha school board remains resolute on school closures | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan Skaha school board remains resolute on school closures

The Okanagan Skaha school district 67 board revisited the matter of closing Trout Creek and West Bench Elementary, voting 6-1 in favour of their previous commitment to close the two schools.

PENTICTON - Hopes of keeping Trout Creek and West Bench Elementary open were dashed once again following last night’s school board meeting.

The board discussed a potential solution brought forward by two parents at a meeting on May 2, School District 67 chair Linda Van Alphen says.

Van Alphen says the proposal failed to address the financial pressures of under-enrolment and funding constraints currently faced by the Okanagan Skaha school district.

A motion to rescind the board’s previous commitment to close Trout Creek and West Bench Elementary was defeated six to one, with trustees commenting the risk of leaving the schools open and making other cuts was too great because it would amount to cutting programs and resources throughout the district with no certainty the cuts would be enough.

Van Alphen also quoted a passage from a report given by B.C. School Trustees Association president Teresa Rezansoff, in which she called it 'unfortunate' several school boards’ decisions regarding school closures have been challenged by local municipalities and politicians.

“This in my mind is unfortunate and disrespectful to trustees who have carefully weighed the situation before them and made some incredibly tough decisions,” Rezansoff said in the report.

The board also approved first and second reading of the budget for 2016-17. The final reading of the roughly $62 million budget is scheduled to take place at the June board meeting.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 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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