School board fund­ing for­mula could be re­vis­ited

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton - BY CAPE BRETON POST STAFF news@cb­post.com

Pos­si­bly bas­ing school board fund­ing less on en­rol­ment and more on other fac­tors such as need is one of the is­sues be­ing looked at by a com­mis­sion on in­clu­sive ed­u­ca­tion, says Zach Churchill, the prov­ince’s min­is­ter of ed­u­ca­tion and early child­hood de­vel­op­ment.

At a news con­fer­ence this week re­gard­ing rec­om­men­da­tions on im­prov­ing men­tal health ser­vices for young peo­ple, Churchill said, in speak­ing about the current ra­tio for guid­ance coun­sel­lors, that fund­ing be­ing pri­mar­ily based on en­rol­ment can re­sult in con­cerns.

“Fun­da­men­tally what’s at the root of con­cerns here is the fund­ing model we have in place in the prov­ince,” Churchill said. “We fund out school boards based on en­rol­ment al­most en­tirely and now we rec­og­nize that that can cre­ate some chal­lenges in

“The ques­tion that they’re tack­ling is should there be other fac­tors that im­pact that fund­ing model to our boards, namely need,” Zach Churchill

ar­eas where there is greater need.”

In a post-cab­i­net scrum and con­fer­ence call Thurs­day, Churchill said that is one of the is­sues that has been re­ferred to the com­mis­sion on in­clu­sion which is due to re­port back with rec­om­men­da­tions in March.

“The ques­tion that they’re tack­ling is should there be other fac­tors that im­pact that fund­ing model to our boards, namely need,” he said. “It most likely will come up in other con­ver­sa­tions we’re hav­ing around the ad­min­is­tra­tion re­view as well.”

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