July 10/18: July 22 Education Funding Formula “Expert Panel” Recommendations to BC Minister of Education: Go Below The Surface

The wonderful mural painted by SD61 students has as its title “Go Below The Surface”, an appropriate approach in almost any circumstance.

2018 06 29 Mural Rob Fleming .jpg

Rob Fleming, Minister of Education, held an open house on June 29 to officially “unveil” this amazing mural.

As the SD61 Board had not had a reply from the Minister  to the Board’s  letter expressing concerns with the funding formula review process – and nor had the BCSTA or other Districts that had written similar letters – I too the opportunity to personally deliver to the Minister the correspondence and information below.  It’s possible, given the amount of material that  asks for the Minister’s attention, that actual letters do not always get past an assistant. Perhaps that’s why we have had no answer to our letter. The Minister’s comment to me was “I will read the material, but it’s strange that the BCSTA objects as they have been asking for a review for years.”

It’s July 10. I understand no replies have been received acknowledging our concerns.

My motion at the SD61 May 28 Board meeting:

McNally:   That the Board of Education SD61 recommend to the Ministry of Education and the BCSTA that the Ministry of Education and BCSTA, in alignment with the Co-governance Memorandum of Understanding, cooperatively develop a steering committee comprised of education partners including FNESC, to design the consultation process referred to in Motion L46 (SD37 Delta)“Review of Funding Formula Document” , process to include concerns expressed in BCSTA AGM motions L45 (SD71 Comox Valley) and L46 (SD57 Prince George) , “Funding Formula and K-12 enrolment Audits” and “Education Funding Model”.​ //  Carried. For: McNally, Loring-Kuhanga, Nohr, Paynter, Watters / Against: Ferris, Whiteaker

  • McNally:  During the B.C. Education Funding Model Review Regional meetings, Districts were only asked what they liked about the current funding formula and what they would like to see changed. No other details were provided about what the Ministry was considering. The Funding Model Review Panel is expected to provide recommendations to the Minister of Education in July 2018. From there it is expected that the Minister of Education will consider the recommendations and then direct Ministry staff to develop a new funding model. There have been no specifics on the proposed new formula being offered to Boards of Education or education sector stakeholders prior to assumed approval by the Minister of Education on July 22. In addition, it It would appear that those most directly impacted, our students, staff and families will have no opportunity to review and understand these proposed changes to the model, or to provide input before the Minister approves the new formula. Boards of Education must advocate for clear process that is informed by adequate depth and scope and that provides genuine opportunities for meaningful participation to all stakeholders at all levels, to whom we are accountable. We must be able to completely understand all aspects of what is being contemplated and have significant opportunities to provide input and to make amendments prior to implementation. No preliminary design of or consideration of a new funding model should be undertaken before 2020, as per carried BCSTA AGM Motion L46. The appropriate time for such a major change to the education funding model, along with consideration of significant associated changes, needs to be taken to address the issues and factors that have been expressed to the Panel. Extending the timeline for complete provision of much more complete information and consultation would allow time to ensure meaningful participation by all involved.  With Trustee elections taking place in October 2018, the possibility for a turnover of up to 40% of trustees exists. It would be unwise on the art of the Ministry to implement a new funding model at the same time as new trustees are orienting to their governance responsibilities.2019 will include bargaining for teachers and support staff, and although it is expected that any collectively bargained wages and improvements to benefits would be fully funded, it would be prudent to delay implementation of a new funding model while over 76% of a school district’s operating and special purpose expenses are subject to collective bargaining. The importance of providing an appropriate time-line for consultation and the development of any changes to the funding model and implementation of changes is critical.

  • Whiteaker: What is it that we want? Don’t understand this.

  • Ferris: This motion is incomprehensible.

  • McNally: We want a steering committee to design a review process. “Complex” and “incomprehensible” are not the same. I handed out to all Trsutees tonight hard copy  of the relevant backgrounders – the BCSTA letter to Chris Trumpy, Chair of the Funding Panel, and the three related motions that carried at the BCSTA AGM. The BCTA response prompted by the three motions is on the BCSTA website. Because our Superintendent is on the Funding Review panel I asked for his assistance in drafting this motion. It was perfectly comprehensible to him. [Incomprehensibilty  rating = 2/7 trustees present = .29]

 

My letter to the Minister (as an individual Trustee, not on behalf of the Board):

June 30 Rob Fleming 1

june-30-rob-fleming-2.jpg

School District 61 Board letter to the Minister:

2018-06-26-Ltr-to-MOE-and-BCSTA-re-Funding-Formula-ReviewBC School Trustees Association  letter to the Minister:

1 22-05-2018-G-Swan-to-C-Trumpy-FMR-Panel-re-BCSTA-presentation-summary

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2 22-05-2018-G-Swan-to-C-Trumpy-FMR-Panel-re-BCSTA-presentation-summary

3 22-05-2018-G-Swan-to-C-Trumpy-FMR-Panel-re-BCSTA-presentation-summary

BCSTA AGM motions carried re funding formula review, prompting above letter: 

2

3

4

3 late

Previous SD61 discussion  April 23  and much background information in May 17 post. 

About Diane McNally