School cutbacks should start at the top

"Last Tuesday’s school board meeting did little to answer why another school is being closed in the district."

Last Tuesday’s school board meeting did little to answer why another school is being closed in the district.

When referring to cuts needing to be made, the chair compared it to removing body parts, but no mention was made of cutting at the ‘head’.

I have had no reply to my previously written question of whether the number of administration positions could be cut to save salaries, pensions, etc.

On Tuesday the chair admitted no direct administration staff would be reduced at RSS but he said some counsellors would be cut…however, with grades 10-12 joining Crowe, obviously those same counsellors will be needed at Crowe, so no money saved (?)  I am not wanting teaching/counselling staff cut…I am referring to the fact that currently we have a reduced number of students from 20 or 30 years ago and yet the ‘heads’ of departments’ administrative staff have increased.

The decision to cut another school was too quick to allow trustees to even consider the calmly made, rational suggestions from Rosslanders.

If they quickly sell the MacLean building, instead of short-term leasing or renting it…they will be making an irreversible decision. There is the nearly empty middle school and empty elementary school in Sunningdale available for purchase.

Near the end of floor questions, that evening, it was clarified that while the offending bylaw had been passed, it could still be rescinded at a later date if funding is found.

I urge trustees to look at the costs going to salaries of the district office staff and make cuts there. If the pre-payment for lease of current board office space in Fortis building ($914,888 plus interest) is returned to the district in September perhaps some could be used for the budget and the offices relocated in under used schools.

Rosslanders are finally being made aware of huge city staff salaries and the fact that our city functioned better before these new positions were created.  Cuts to both city staffing and school district offices could result in more funding for MacLean.

The school board could try submitting a deficit budget (as courageous other school boards are attempting) until the election and pressure is brought on governments for more funding.

If our provincial government has $11-12 million to support the movie industry, surely they can better support education.

Mine was a one-income, now retired family, but I would personally support a higher municipal tax to keep K-12 in Rossland.

Rossland already sacrificed for the whole district, by reducing to only one elementary and one senior school, but now the idiotic choice to bus a whole senior school down the hill, keeps me awake at night.  Every community has already had to make drastic cuts…I am questioning why those cuts were not made in administration staff and other ways, rather than closing schools.

Show us the figures to support your arguments, so reasonable discussion can continue.

Carol AlboRossland

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