Campbell River school board to apply for funds that may keep two rural schools open

Rural Education Enhancement Fund money was announced by the provincial government last week

School District 72 is going to take a shot at money that could re-open two rural schools slated for closure at the end of this school year.

The school board voted tonight to apply for Rural Education Enhancement Fund money announced by the provincial government last week. The fund came much to the surprise of trustees and educators in the province who were proceeding with the already announced closure of rural schools

SD72 trustees voted to close Discovery Passage and Oyster River elementary schools earlier this school year but the announcement of the REEF money raised the possibility of obtaining the funds necessary to keep the schools open for another year at least.

Trustees were skeptical that the money will actually be awarded, citing politics as being the reason the provincial Liberals suddenly came up with the money. However, Trustee Daryl Hagen summed up the reason why a slim majority of the SD72 board decided to pursue the funding.

“I don’t want to give up the money without at least asking for it,” Hagen said.

Whether SD72 meets the criteria set out by the government for the REEF money is unclear as well but the district was encouraged to apply – by Friday – in order to determine whether it was eligible or not.

More on this story will be coming tomorrow.