Status quo! After a nearly six month school review process, a decision was made to close no schools within the Dr. JH Gillis Feeder system. A decision not reached easily, after a 3 hour meeting that featured 11 presentations, it was unanimously decided to keep Antigonish Education Centre open, and almost unanimously decided to keep H.M. MacDonald open.
Richelle MacLaughlin represents the area that H.M MacDonald falls into on the SRSB. She says the past week has been tough for her and the people who are attached to H.M. Richelle says the people’s concerns were heard, and the board responded:
The evening featured an interesting series of events, where some members tried to amend the original motion of closure in two months. Some board members tried to extend the closure date of HM until the end of 2017/18, and another amendment to close at the end of 2020/21. Neither were approved.
Sherman England is the Director of Operations at the SRSB. England says the board is in a predicament regardless of their decision. Having schools that are sometimes only at 50% capacity creates a financial barrier that cannot be erased:
A select number of board members told the public at the meeting that the system is flawed in terms of how rural school boards receive their funding. They strongly encouraged the public to show the same level of engagement with their MLA’s in the upcoming election in order to hopefully change the way boards receive funds.