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Official Trustee Appointed to Cowichan Valley School District 79July 1, 2012

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Official Trustee Appointed to Cowichan Valley School District 79

VICTORIA – Surrey School District superintendent Mike McKay has been appointed as the official trustee for School District 79 (Cowichan Valley), Minster of Education George Abbott announced today.

With the appointment of the official trustee, members of the Cowichan Valley Board of Education cease to hold office. The decision to appoint an official trustee was precipitated by the board’s refusal to submit a balanced budget for the upcoming school year by June 30, as required by the School Act.

With more than 30 years of experience in public education, Mike McKay is widely regarded as one of the most respected and talented educational leaders in British Columbia. He is currently the superintendent of the Surrey School District, the largest and most diverse school district in B.C. McKay also has strong connections to the Cowichan Valley and Vancouver Island, having previously served as the principal of Cowichan Secondary and as superintendent for the neighbouring Saanich School District.

As official trustee, McKay will assume all the duties and responsibilities typically required of a board of education, including the obligations to conduct public board meetings and community consultations. The official trustee will work with SD 79 staff to submit and implement a balanced budget for the upcoming school year and establish a sustainable, long-term plan to improve student achievement and service delivery.

George Abbott, Minister of Education – “Mike McKay is an exceptional leader who will always put the best interests of students at the centre of every decision. I can think of no one better suited to work with the community and district staff to improve student achievement and services. I know he will be a great asset to the Cowichan Valley in this role, and I am very pleased that he has agreed to take on this responsibility.”

 

Continues Minister Abbott – “It’s regrettable that the Cowichan Valley Board chose to put political advocacy ahead of their obligation to submit a balanced budget. The responsible management of district finances to support student learning and achievement is a central responsibility of all boards of education. I have been very clear and consistent that their course of action would result in them being relieved of their duties.”

Mike McKay, official trustee, SD 79 – “I appreciate the minister asking me to take on the role as official trustee. It will be challenging and complex work, and I look forward to delivering on my responsibility to learners and the community in the Cowichan Valley. My immediate focus will be to meet and work with school district senior staff for an overview of key issues and to plan next steps. I also look forward to connecting with employee groups and community partners to build a shared understanding of our commitment to provide the best for students.”

Quick Facts:

* Of the 60 boards of education in B.C., 59 submitted a balanced budget to the ministry by June 30.

* School District 79’s 2012-13 estimated operating grant is $69.7 million, which includes a BC Education Plan grant of $160,075 and an estimated $2 million in supplemental funding protection in recognition of the challenges presented by declining student enrolment.

* In addition, SD 79 is also receiving for the 2012-13 school year a Learning Improvement Fund (LIF) grant of $896,455.

* Per-pupil funding in SD 79 has risen from $6,230 in 2000-01 to an estimated $8,729 for 2012-13 (increase of 40 per cent).

* September Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) enrolment has declined by 2,500 students from 10,384 in 2000-01 to an estimated 7,866 for 2012-13 (decrease of 24 per cent).

* The official trustee’s term of appointment is to be determined, but it cannot extend past the November 2014 municipal election.

* Official trustees were appointed in place of board trustees in:

– The Cowichan Valley and Vancouver School Districts in 1985.

– North Vancouver School District in 1996.

To read the entire press release please visit: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2012/07/official-trustee-appointed-to-school-district-79.html

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