The Okanagan Similkameen School District isn’t saying no to a call to review its recent decision to close Osoyoos Secondary School.
But it certainly isn’t saying yes.
Chair Marieze Tarr said in an interview yesterday she will convene her Board of Trustees soon to discuss the announcement and how it might affect the district’s 2016-17 operating budget.
But she’s not optimistic.
“I can’t tell you we’re going to reverse a decision based on $118,000 that we just heard about,” she said.
“We will have to look at everything again. But $118,000 — to me, I don’t know if that is enough money.”
Her response follows an announcement yesterday by Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson of a decision to forego for one year about $25 million the province charges school boards for services, such at Internet, MSP premiums, etc.
School boards are expected to use their share of the savings to directly benefit students.
Trustees were not invited to the funding announcement, which was held at the Town of Osoyoos office and attended by about 100 Osoyoos residents.
Ms Larson said yesterday she did not invite trustees in part to protect them.
“There would have been no point in putting those people through the type of the targeted nastiness — there’s no other way to describe it — that they have received whenever they walk down the street in Osoyoos,” Ms. Larson explained.
“And I wanted to give them a chance to take this offer, digest it, get together as a Board and talk about it, and then meet with Osoyoos and meet with me and the school PAC, etc.”
Many left the funding announcement disappointed, expecting a more definitive action on the part of the province that would ensure Osoyoos Secondary remained open.
Ms. Tarr said despite the school closing decision, she expects the board is prepared to reconsider if circumstances allowed.
“We’ve always been willing to sit down. We’ve consulted. We’ve talked to everyone,” she said. “That’s what we’ve always done. We’ve always tried to do that.”