School board funding model must change, says Karen Casey
New Education Minister says basing amount on declining enrolments no longer works
Nova Scotia's new Minister of Education says the method of funding school boards in the province has to change.
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey said basing the amount on declining enrolment no longer works.
Fewer students throughout Nova Scotia has led to shrinking budgets for school boards and caused school closures.
Dayle Eshelby, Lockeport town councillor, said that’s something her community is struggling with.
“If we close our schools in our rural towns how can we expect our population to grow and to contribute to the economy?” she said.
The province's school closure policy is already under review. But Casey said a much bigger change is needed.
“Funding based on enrolment does not work. We know that there are some constant costs that do not change or that increase,” she said.
Casey thinks funding should be based at least partially on the programs offered.
“Not all kids should or will go on to university. We need to make sure that we give them opportunities to learn about some of the skilled trades,” she said.
Casey admits changing the way education is funded won't happen overnight.