Board of Education Budget Review

OK, finally some Education news.

Too bad it’s bad news.

The BC budget announced Tuesday confirmed that wewill receive less funding for the upcoming school year. Districts will not receive Annual Facility Grants (usually around a million bucks for School District 46.) These funds are used to maintain our aging facilities and it will be a real scramble figuring out how to get by without them.

There will also be changes to the Community Link funding we receive. These funds directly support vulnerable students on the Sunshine Coast, and it’s not clear whether the changes will result in less money for the programs that support vulnerable kids.

Even more interesting is the announcement that the government plans to review Boards of Education in an effort to save even more money, much like the reviews ordered for Translink and BC Ferries.

Now, I’m all about transparency and accountability for Boards of Education, so in theory, I’m fine with reviewing Boards to make sure they are optimally configured to deliver the highest level of education possible. There is, however, the question of what criteria will be used to decide what makes B of E’s more “efficient.”

In the business world “efficiency” means delivering the maximum number of dollars into the pockets of shareholders and executives. Period. The end always justifies the means in business.

However, in school districts our shareholders are the kids and our currency is knowledge. If a review is geared towards getting kids more of that, than I fully embrace the idea. If the purpose of a review is to free up more money to fund Olympic cost overruns and ballooning government salaries (and pensions), then I’m not quite as excited.

I guess reviewing Boards Of Education will be one step closer to my dream of a meaningful review of the mother of all money pits: the provincial government and its bureaucrats. If the Earls and Dukes of British Columbia will commit to that I’ll willingly cut my Personal Assistant, Tad, down to half time.

One can dream.

And I’m just kidding about my PA of course–I couldn’t live without Tad.

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