Chilliwack – On the agenda for this week’s meeting of the Chilliwack School Board will be a motion from Trrustee Davids Swankey.

The recommendation is that the Board of Education request the Minister of Education and the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General allocate sustained special purpose funding to provide year-round educational services to correctional facilities being supported by public school districts.

Currently, inmates in Provincial Correctional Centres have access to education through Continuing Education programs when there is an agreement in place between the Provincial Correctional Centre and the respective school district. These programs are funded through the Ministry of Education, and funding is delivered to districts using the current CE model. The result is instability in funding and threat to the continuity of service. In Chilliwack, SD33 has one such arrangement with the Ford Mountain Correctional Centre.

At the January 14, 2020 public meeting of the board, staff presented a strategic plan update specific to Ford Mountain. The agenda for that meeting may be found here; the staff presentation may be viewed here, starting at the 6:45 minute mark.

The Funding Model Working Group Implementation Report for Adult and Continuing Education recognized the precariousness of this funding, acknowledging that recommendation 11, “may not provide enough support for unique or small programs (e.g., Programs in [provincial] correctional centres)”. The working group report recommends possible mitigation strategies, including targeted funding for indigenous adult learners and moving away from the course-based funding to a more stable program-based funding model.

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