June 6, 2016 NPA

NPA School Trustee Stacy Robertson wants the City of Vancouver to step up and pay costs to operate Britannia Centre

Robertson says the VSB cannot afford to provide funding for a community centre outside its jurisdictional mandate when it is cutting literacy teachers, multicultural workers, and making a host of other program cuts that will directly affect student learning.

Vancouver, B.C., June 6, 2016 – With an historic $24 million budget shortfall still facing the Vancouver School Board (VSB), and unprecedented cuts to core teaching staff and services, NPA School Trustee Stacy Robertson says he wants the VSB to look at the Britannia Centre operating agreement with the City of Vancouver and implore the City to step up and properly fund the Centre’s many worthwhile community amenities rather than relying on a tight VSB budget for funding.

Robertson says the Board cannot afford to provide funding outside of its jurisdictional mandate to pay the operating costs of a community centre at a time when the VSB is cutting literacy teachers, multicultural workers, and making a host of other program cuts that will directly affect student learning.

“The VSB has attempted to renegotiate the cost sharing arrangement with the City of Vancouver for several years without success, and this has forced us into a difficult position,” said Robertson. “My hope is that the City will step up to the plate and enter into a fair and equitable cost sharing arrangement with the VSB, because it’s simply not fair to the students to be subsidizing a community centre’s operations from education funds.”

Robertson’s motion is on the agenda for tonight’s school board meeting, June 6, 2016, at 7:00 pm. His motion calls for the Board to authorize staff to give Notice of Termination of the Britannia Centre Agreement if staff are not able to achieve a cost sharing arrangement with the City of Vancouver that is fair and equitable to all parties by June 30, 2016.

The terms and conditions of the Britannia Centre agreement state that the City of Vancouver, the VSB, or the Britannia Community Services Society can terminate the operating agreement at any time by giving 90 days’ notice. However, Robertson says he would prefer to not see it come to this and would rather see the City step up to meet its fair obligation.

For a copy of Stacy Robertson’s motion, please click here.

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