News Briefs for May 18, 2016

School District to consider smaller board

Namaimo-Ladysmith School District will consider a report this fall on possible changes to the number of trustees on its board and how they are elected.

The board will also be reviewing its membership in the BC School Trustees’ Association to see if it’s getting value for the money.

Describing the measures as ‘primarily cost saving’ initiatives, Trustee Jeff Solomon, who chairs the board’s Meeting Format Committee, said the ideas have only been given ‘preliminary’ consideration.

There are nine trustees on the board now; they will consider cutting  back to seven trustees after the next election.

As well, the board has asked for information on the benefits of going to a ward system, rather than the present at large system.

“I’ll just say that each of these issues has been preliminarily discussed with other boards,” Solomon said.

Trustees earn about $16,000 per year.

The BC School Trustees Association is a provincial organization whose membership is made up of B.C. school districts. SD68 pays about $50,000 per year for its membership, and staff have been asked to report back to the board this fall “on the cost and benefits.”

“We’re not advocating a withdrawal from the BCSTA,” Solomon said. “In fact we feel very fortunate that one of our trustees (Stephanie Higginson) is on their board of directors.”

Reports on the make up of the board and continued membership in the BCSTA are expected before the end of October.