The LKDSB Chronicle
No pupil accommodation review occurred 2014/15, Ministry School Consolidation Grant opportunity missed.
April 2015 Brian McKay, Superintendent of Finance was hired.
March 2015 the Ministry Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline changed taking out “value to the community” and shortening the time line.
June 23, 2015, LKDSB changed their Pupil Accommodation Review regulation to somewhat align with Ministry requirements.
The LKDSB didn’t include regulation #1 from old regulations: “Each October, the Director of Education will present a Pupil Accommodation Report to the Board.”
Staff meet to plan the easiest way to reduce the $200+ million capital backlog and take advantage of the School Consolidation Capital (SCC) & School Condition Improvement (SCI) grants.
They identify a target – St. Clair Secondary School because of its generous capital renewal backlog.
How do they plan to get this done? Create inflated capital cost projections for SCITS. They use a 10-year Facility Cost Index for comparison of all district schools to create the illusion of a fair report.
Staff creates an eight phase school consolidation report (Ministry mandated to qualify for SCC funding) with no serious planning as six of the phases are “to be determined.” They are desperate to qualify for the SCC grant.
The eight phase school consolidation report also includes an unrealistic vision for the construction of three new schools.
Staff waits until November 24, 2015 to put forward a recommendation to close SCITS and consolidate students at St. Clair. More than a month later than previous years.
Staff creates a sense of urgency for the Trustees to approve the recommendation to commence the accommodation review.
Urgency for SCC funding, reducing the LKDSB capital backlog and a short time in which to accomplish it.
The Trustees vote to move ahead with the accommodation review without having received the School Information Profiles, FCI and five-year capital renewal needs for each school.
The public commences its challenge of the LKDSB reports – FCI, 5 & 10 year renewal needs, projections versus actual data.
Staff changes the FCI data, and 5 & 10 year renewal needs each time they are challenged, resulting in eight changes between November 24/15 and April 26, 2016 (five months).
Certain Trustees become very protective of their staff and angry with public input. They continue to outwardly support staff .
Trustees and staff never reached out to publicly clarify and satisfy the discrepancies. Instead, they continued to ignore public input.
Three of 11 Trustees put their hands up to show they had read the Trustee Report prepared by the public.
End result: The review was an undemocratic process. The majority of Trustees showed no interdependence from staff and supported a recommendation that is not in the best interest of students, community and ultimately the public purse
- Chris Burley