A hydro rate hike prompted Kamloops-Thompson school trustees to send a letter to the province criticizing the increased financial pressure public education is under.
School board chairwoman Denise Harper told trustees Education Minister Peter Fassbender needs to understand this cannot continue.
“We need to point out that one of the best run districts in the province is looking askance at some of the challenges we’ll face in the future,” she said.
An update from secretary treasurer Kelvin Stretch on the recent B.C. Hydro rate hike prompted Harper to suggest the letter.
Stretch told trustees the school district pays $1 million a year for hydro, and an additional 28-per-cent increase over five years could see the district spend an additional $70,000 to $90,000 annually.
Trustee Annette Glover, who is also chairwoman of the district’s finance committee, said there are a number of reports that highlight the strain the district is under.
She suggested this information be included as well, and that a letter also be sent the Finance Minister Mike de Jong. Harper agreed, and trustees approved a motion to prepare and send the letters.
After the meeting, Harper said the district tries to work with the cards it’s dealt, but this is becoming increasingly difficult, especially given its geographic size and rural setting.
“We’re facing some significant challenges with respect to funding,” she said.
Harper said there comes a point when even the best run district can’t scrimp and save anymore.
“How do you do that? You start turning out lights. I don’t think dark schools work that well,” she said.