Saturday, November 13, 2010

Asked and ... Answered? Futility and the Pembina Trails School Board

So, speaking of futility - a buddy of mine who cares about such things was over this fine eve lamenting what one hears at School Board meetings. To wit, he showed me something on his Blackberry that illustrates what happens here in Winnipeg when a member of the public deigns to ask a School Board a question:

"Questions from Members of the Public in Attendance"
"A. Filewich noted that during the Auditor’s report, the Auditor stated that the Division was maximizing all of its Provincial Grants. She asked if the Division was maximizing the Equalization Grant.

The Secretary-Treasurer responded stating that the Equalization Grant increases
as spending increases. He said that the Equalization Grant in Pembina Trails increases only 3¢ or 4¢ for every additional $1.00 in increased expenditures. He added that, since the Division is on the 2% Formula Guarantee in the Funding of Schools Program, any increase in the Equalization Grant results in a reduction of the 2% Formula Guarantee Grant so that increased expenditures result in a zero increase in Provincial grants."
[from: PEMBINA TRAILS SCHOOL DIVISION - Highlights of Board Meeting of November 9, 2010, p.4]

REALLY? I mean c'mon, was that a real answer? Am I missing something? Is the "Equalization Grant" real? Was the question misguided? Cripes, if that's the kind of nonsensical jargon one can be subjected to at their local Board meeting, it's small wonder more of us don't participate. Further, an answer like that makes one wonder what the Board, Trustees, and the Provincial Department of Education are smoking? I mean in what alternative universe could that answer be seen as a faithful and logical depiction of our current educational funding formulas here in Manitoba? Anybody?

If the guy below was right in the 1850s, I'm willing to bet that Trustees, School Administrators and Department of Education minions and their ilk have probably been part of the group smoking "something" for at least the last century and a half - how else do we explain an answer like that!

1 comment:

  1. Does seems a bit confusing.

    But then again so is the whole funding strategy of education by the present NDP government.

    To make it simple: End property tax funding of education. Pay for it from provincial funds like all the other provinces are now doing.