“We all pay the same amount, and we feel that is a heck of a lot fairer than what your house is assessed for.“
That’s a reported quote from Kentville’s mayor referring to the County’s attempt to change the funding formula for area schools from a per student formula to one based completely (or partially) on assessment.
Given what we know about the “fairness” – or not- of assessments we have a certain sympathy with Mayor Corkum’s remark.
We’ve discussed the school funding issue before in this post – it’s the elephant in the schoolroom. If the application goes against the municipalities it will mean much higher costs for most of the municipalities involved. It would add, for example, $608,000 to the expense side of Wolfville’s budget!
It is not much discussed in open sessions nor has there been much attempt to get public support for the Municipalities’ position.
“I think it is important the mayor and you as councillors are in the community able to discuss it publicly,” Kentville chief administrative officer Keith Robicheau told the Council Advisory Committee January 11.
Mayor David Corkum was quick to respond.
“We’re in court over this and we have to negotiate a lot of the stuff in camera, unfortunately….
But there are lots of questions residents, and especially parents, might want to ask. The reality is if we want decent schools, and schools which are funded fairly, perhaps the whole system should be changed. Education is a provincial responsibility. Perhaps it is time it came off of Municipal and County budgets entirely.
Meanwhile taxpayers somewhere are paying legal costs for both sides to go to court ; Kentville CAO, Keith Robicheau, is right –
“… this is not the way governments resolve agreements with each other.”