Cowichan staff, outside districts back Valley school board
Support is pouring in for the Cowichan Valley School Board and their illegal deficit budget.
Teachers and staff in the district are coming forward, including an occupational therapist in District 79, Susan Stacey who told SunFM News their defiance of the Education Ministry is heroic.
“I think it is very brave, courageous of the trustees to take a stand because it is often easy to listen and try to be creative, but if the bottom line is there isn’t enough money, than I think it is very courageous of them to try to take a stand even if it goes against the grain.”
In fact, Stacey believes the $3.8 million dollar shortfall isn't big enough to fully replace all the axed programs and services, especially in her work with special needs students. She said the number of kids on her caseload has increased ten times, while her hours are being cut.”
“I guess my concern is, if they are going to restore services, they really need to go much much further than what they're asking for--they’re really only asking for a portion of what would be required to restore services to students with special needs.”
Members of Victoria's School Board 61 sent a letter of support to District 79, also pointing out that their board was one vote away from proposing the same action.
And a teachers' union in Prince Rupert wrote that the Cowichan School Board is “courageous and inspiring."
School District 79 Chair Eden Hawthornthwaite is hoping the growing support will encourage Education Minister George Abbott to consider alternatives to firing the board.
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