Shuswap’s MLA is not impressed with the growing controversy within the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District.
Three trustees have resigned and the district is under fire for transferring $10.5 million in operational surpluses to capital funding over the past five years, including for a new administration office.
“It’s pretty obvious the general public is concerned about the lack of disclosure about what the school district was doing with surpluses,” said Greg Kyllo, MLA.
Kyllo says there wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with redirecting funds towards capital as long as the public was aware of the situation.
“It’s pretty definite that there’s an obvious concern.”
He also questions internal communication within the school board office if the superintendent and trustees are saying they were not fully aware of the transfers.
However, when asked if he continues to have confidence in the school board, Kyllo said, “The school board is duly elected and it’s not for me to weigh in on that but the public needs to feel its voice is being heard.”
Trustees have asked the Ministry of Education to appoint a special advisor to review the district’s governance practices.
Kyllo supports the move.
“With the concerns of local residents, they need to undertake some form of accountability review,” he said.
Education Minister Mike Bernier says he’s aware that parents are upset with the district.
“My ministry is working with the district on their request for the appointment of a special advisor in School District 83,” he states. “I am committed to working together with the district to address the concerns of parents and determine the best path forward.”