EDITORIAL: Don’t shoot the SD62 messengers

Addressing school district budget deficit an unenviable task

The times, they are a-changing for the Sooke School District.

We are on the edge of a new era for West Shore students, who will see where and how they make their way through their school careers change drastically over the next couple of years.

Two new high schools opening in 2015 will make the biggest difference to the system, but there is also the restructuring of the grade placement for elementary and middle schools, and the combination of kindergarten and Grade 1 classes in six schools.

The Sooke School Board faced a pair of tough decisions at this week’s meeting and is taking some sidelong glances from the community for the outcomes.

As a result of one of those votes, Ecole John Stubbs Memorial is to become a French immersion-only elementary and middle school beginning in 2015. The English-track students in mid-stream at the Colwood school? They’ll have to be bused to different locations or in many cases, their parents will need to drive them further to get to school.

Naturally, parents in that situation take issue with the situation and not without cause. Having to uproot a child from their school and move them somewhere else is not enviable, no matter what the child’s age.

A decision that will likely affect as many people is the approval of this year’s overall budget, initial calculations for which produced a deficit of more than $3 million. Parents and school staff are also upset over how the resulting cuts, and they are significant, will negatively affect education in the district.

School trustees seem to genuinely understand this and have expressed disappointment they were put in this position in the first place. They say the provincial government needs to pony up more money for education and we agree.

It’s important that the public not shoot the local messengers, especially when they’re doing the best they can with what they’ve been given.

Just Posted

Cross-examination begins for Oak Bay dad accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Arenas, fitness centre ready for action after significant flood at Saanich recreation centre

Library branch, archives remain closed after Thursday night flood

Camosun mechanical engineering project solve real-world problems

Showcase included projects that confound conventional wisdom, garner industry interest

Speculation tax forces sale of Oak Bay’s ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read