Education minister again rules out amalgamation

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

BC’s education minister is again ruling out amalgamation of the province’s school districts.

Peter Fassbender says the ministry’s Mike McKay is doing a report on shared services for school districts not merging them despite rumours to the contrary.

“He absolutely is not looking at amalgamating school districts. He is looking at efficiencies within the system within shared services. Where we can reinvest those dollars into the classroom, which is where we are feeling a lot of the pressure across the sector.”

Fassbender says there are a variety of ways sharing services can result in cost savings.

“There is a number. There are HR services. There is other technical backroom services through technology. There is the acquisition of things like buses and other different things. Many districts are already working on a number of those initiatives.”

However Fassbender adds there is always ways to improve how any system is run.

“I think there is an indication that we all feel, and I have heard that even from the school trustees, that we all want to work to be as efficient as we can to ensure that every dollar that we can goes into the classroom. So there is always room for improvement in any organization or any structure.”

McKay is the former superintendent of the Surrey school district.

He retired recently and moved into a position with the ministry of education.

Comments

  1. So we are looking at efficienciey. Underfunding per student funding at $ 1000 less than the national average, and having bigger classes with more special needs kids and fewer teachers is the least efficient way to educate our future nurses, engineers, teachers and social workers. Fassbender has no clue. Maybe he should be replaced by a 17 year old teenager at a fraction of the salary and golden pension? Just sayin’.

  2. Maybe we should take another look at “inclusion” and offer specialized classes for children in need. We have put them into regular classrooms which does not appear to work.

  3. Wasn’t the concept of sharing services already under way when Gordon Campbell was premier? A significant amount of money was saved by combining the purchase of paper clips. It’s amazing what a bit of ingenuity will achieve.

    Having said that, amalgamation of school districts where practical regionally would get rid of a lot of duplication in elected school trustees, administration and support services. The resultant savings could go to students.

  4. Exhibit A: New Westminster School Board has ONE high school and several elementary schools. Why does it need a separate school board from, say, Burnaby? Amalgamation can save a lot of money. Fassbender could go without a raise, too, to save money. ;)

  5. Interesting how private companies acquire their peers to create efficiencies and improve the bottom line through reduction of costs. Politicians cannot get their heads around the concept. There is no reason the purchasing and supply of all school districts could not be centralized, other than to maintain the mini empires throughout the province.
    School districts actually compete for international students. Each school district sends administration staff to education fairs in other countries – all at district expense.

  6. Administrators studying administrators, with the natural outcome being leave administration alone. Lots of Liberal insiders in administration, many making 100k plus.

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