Trustee Asks for Support

Trustee Werner Manke speaks at Port McNeill's council meeting about schools

Despite cuts to funding, “I am heartened by the fact that our schools are doing quite well (scholastically),” says School District #85 Trustee Werner Manke.

Manke spoke at the Town of Port McNeill council meeting April 20.

All school districts are concerned with the provincial government’s demand that they find over $50 million in administrative savings over the next two years.

“To achieve further reductions without cutting programs and without reducing the ability to build and maintain strong school teams will be problematic,” said Manke.

“It’s going to make maintaining programs that we have now more difficult. We will need public support in the coming months,” he said.

“We have made several administrative changes in this district during the past two years,” he said, adding there is “no low-hanging fruit left in this district.”

The board recently set a calendar for the 1025/16 school year which had some challenges because of the way Labour Day, Easter, and year-end dates fell.

The board agreed to a one-year contract quite different from the norm. School will be in session longer each day, there will be a two-week spring break, and summer holidays will be one week longer.

Spring break will be from March 21 to April 4 and schools will close June 24.

“It’s only going to be for one year,” Manke said.

Council decided to write a letter to the province supporting school boards.