Seven Summits not responsible for SD20’s financial woes

"First, while it’s true that Seven Summits has financially hurt the District, they are absolutely not responsible for the damage."

Most of us know the terrible situation SD20 finds itself in, needing to cut $730,000 from next year’s budget, when district finances have already been cut to the bone over the years. I’ve heard it argued that Rossland’s independent Seven Summits Centre for Learning is partly responsible for the problem, having taken students from SD20, and thereby lowered transfers from the Ministry. That’s wrong for two reasons.

First, while it’s true that Seven Summits has financially hurt the District, they are absolutely not responsible for the damage.

When SD20 was considering closing MacLean School in Rossland, and cutting back grades at RSS, we told them repeatedly that this would happen. At $9000 per student, depending on your assumptions, it only takes about 20 Rossland students dropping out of SD20 to dissolve all the projected savings from shutting down our schools.

I gave the trustees a detailed spreadsheet as part of the online submissions, showing them what exactly what would happen under the various scenarios.  I told them again when they convened a public session in Rossland.  And then I told them again when they met with Rossland’s PACs.

I also warned them they would be throwing away potential revenues from Red Mountain Academies’ out of province and international students. The Academies now partner with Seven Summits instead of SD20. And I warned that the numbers would get worse over time, as whatever independent option Rossland created got more mature and more attractive as an alternative to Crowe.

And that was just one person’s input – many other people were telling them this.

So yes, Seven Summits is hurting the District’s finances, but are they responsible for the District’s problem? No. The Trustees were the ones holding the gun when SD20 shot itself in the foot.  (Just as they did when we warned them that no French immersion would lead to the school in Rossland that now enrols 45 students that would otherwise be in SD20.)

In case anyone thinks I relish having been right about all that, think again. Both my kids are in the public system, and will feel all the impacts of funding shortfalls and cutbacks, as will all the other blameless children of this district. There’s no joy in saying “I told you so” when you were predicting disaster.

Second, Seven Summits is only a small piece of SD20s woes.  SD20 had around 100 students less in September than they expected, but Seven Summits only has 22 enrolled local students (plus out-of-province and international students). Moreover, a huge chunk of the District’s deficit is from paying for a provincially-imposed CUPE contract settlement.

Ultimately, the downloading of costs like this from the Ministry, the adverse funding formula the Province uses, and this government’s disregard for the value of education – those are our common enemies.  Not Rossland’s independent school.

Aaron CosbeyRossland

Just Posted

“I want to see the difference in the world, embrace it, celebrate it … ” Photo: David Cantelli/Unsplash
A new way to say ‘Hello’

“Inclusion, you see, is NOT about making us all the same.”

Waneta Manor is located on Laburnum Drive in Trail. Photo: Sheri Regnier
Senior dies as Trail tenants continue wait for broken elevator to be fixed

The elevator in Waneta Manor has been out of commission since February

For Your Consideration
Brokeback Facebook: I wish I knew how to quit you!

Thom is inspired by the proliferation of viral inane questions to reevaluate his social media use

The author during GoByBike Week. Taking a break from all that high-flying on the Isador Canyon Trail. Photo: Christina Blaskovich
The auto and the bike: A paean to them both

One becomes an extension of one’s self. The other offers the sensation of flight.

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read