Elgin County municipality weighing own school board
One Elgin County parent says the current school funding model based on pupil spaces isn’t working.
Heather Derks says the system fails because it rewards boards for building new, larger schools and doesn’t work for boards like the Thames Valley District School Board that covers a mix of large urban centers and small rural communities.
She has gone before the TVDS on a number of occasions to oppose school closures and new construction projects in Elgin County.
Now Derks wants to go back to the past, when Elgin County had its own school board.
"How are these small rural areas supposed to attract residents if they don't have core services, like schools - and that is really the financial argument to be made."
She has taken her proposal to Central Elgin’s municipal council, which has said it will study the idea.
Mayor-elect Sally Martyn is on board, "I taught for both the Elgin County board and the Thames Valley board and the Elgin County board was far more efficient. We didn't spend the money that the others did but we had every program."
Derks is hoping the idea will be considered under a funding model review that’s been undertaken by the new Progressive Conservative Ontario government.
"I know that the province is looking at alternative suggestions at the moment. They have an intake period open until, I think, December 14th, I think it is, and they want to hear from us."
In the meantime, administrators from the county are reviewing the proposal.