Board supports recommendations to keep schools open

At yesterday’s public board meeting, the Board of Trustees approved nine of 13 recommendations from the Board’s school closure moratorium committee, which had gathered ideas on actions to assist with keeping schools open.

The recommendations focused on three areas: space utilization, community development and program planning. The approved recommendations include:

  • Advocacy work with the Province to revise funding and space utilization formulas and increase flexibility for leasing space;
  • Working with partners to promote schools as community hubs;
  • Developing a formal process for both metro school boards to meet with the City of Edmonton to promote smart growth and increase densification in established communities;
  • Initiating at least three joint discussions a year among the Board of Trustees, the City of Edmonton and the Province to discuss joint planning;
  • Advocating for family-friendly housing in mature neighbourhoods through new development or by providing housing for seniors so as to “free up” housing for families with children and;
  • Encouraging and supporting government incentives for retro-fitting older homes to make them more attractive to younger families.

“This is an important step in transparently honouring our commitment to find ways to support schools, not close them,” said Dave Colburn, Chair of the Edmonton Public School Board.

Two of the recommendations were defeated and two were deferred until the next board meeting, which is scheduled for February 14, 2012.