School District No. 8 candidate Verna Mayers-McKenzie wants better funding for rural students

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  • Oct. 29, 2014 1:00 p.m.
Verna Mayers-McKenzie is a South Rural candidate for School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake).

Verna Mayers-McKenzie is a South Rural candidate for School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake).

Cody Beebe, incumbent Rebecca HuscroftVerna Mayers-McKenzie and Ken Vaughn-Evans are South Rural candidates for School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) in the Nov. 15 municipal election.


What experiences make you a good candidate for the school board?

I have had 18 years of experience on school boards — the large North Vancouver school board for nine years and a smaller board, Kootenay Lake. This has given me a good perspective on what has been and is happening in education. Although I have been away for three years, I have kept in touch with some of the issues and I am very upset with what the possible plans are for the Homelinks program. The continued move by the provincial government to continue to centralize and reduce funding without regards of the harm it is doing to our district is a human crime.


What would be your top priority as a trustee?

Top priority is the Homelinks program. This program recognizes the need to have choice in the education system. I do not agree with the decision of the board, and by giving it one more year is causing many people to find other areas that can meet their children’s needs. This issue, along with attaining and fortifying public attention, interest, awareness and support for our public education system and the right to have choices.


Does School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) serve the best interests of Creston Valley residents?

With the amalgamation, small boards like Kootenay Lake suffered the most. In our case, we find ourselves spending more money just trying to service our schools. Busing the children to school is another expense. With the new funding formula we get funding according to the number of seats that are filled. This left little or no money to recognize the cost of transportation, operating small schools and geographical difficulties. The present provincial school funding favours school districts on the Lower Mainland and the rural districts are left out in the cold. Under the present circumstances, no children’s interests are being served well. That is why it is important that together we speak out for better support for small rural districts.


How many school board meetings/functions have you attended in 2014?

I have only been to one board meeting and a finance and operations committee meeting so far, although I have kept up to date by reading the website and being asked for my opinion and thoughts on various issues. I have gone to several school performances and I am always so amazed at the talent of the students.

Please elect a strong voice for the children in the Creston Valley: Verna Mayers-McKenzie.