Rural schools defended

RDNO directors want increased funding for bus routes in electoral areas

B.C.’s education minister is being told to pump more cash into rural schools.

The Regional District of North Okanagan board will write Peter Fassbender and ask that funding be increased for rural schools, particularly given cuts to busing locally.

“They are so lean and mean and they need our support,” said director Juliette Cunningham of the Vernon School District which has slashed bus routes in Cherryville and rural Lumby to save money.

Cunningham, who is a former school trustee, insists pressure must be placed on Fassbender directly.

“I’d like to show support for the school district and the situation it is in.”

Among the reductions in service this September is the bus route on on Sugar Lake Road.

“I can’t believe this is what’s happening in our community,” said Eugene Foisy, alternate Cherryville director.

“We’re expecting our children to walk along a road with logging trucks in the winter. People are really up in arms about this.”

There is also a concern that reduced school busing could lead to fewer families in Cherryville and rural Lumby.

“People are saying, ‘Who will move out to the community if there is no busing?’ It will impact property values,” said Foisy.