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From the Councillor's Office
Councillor Says District 2 Residents Oppose More Education Funding
(Monday, February 28/2000)-- The Halifax Regional School Board should learn how to live within its present budget, before trying to put its hands into the pockets of residents of the former Halifax County area and asking for new supplementary education funding, District 2 Councillor Gordon Snow said today.
The Waverley/Dutch Settlement Councillor said the regional school board should also keep in mind that education funding is the Constitutional responsibility of the Province - not municipalities whose only means to raise funds is through property taxation.
Councillor Snow said he conducted an informal survey in his own District 2 recently and the results showed that the majority of those polled were overwhelmingly against a supplementary education fee in the former Halifax County area.
Halifax Regional Municipality now contributes approximately $60 million a year to the Province of Nova Scotia for mandatory education funding. In addition, the former City of Halifax contributes an additional $12 million through supplementary funding, and the former City of Dartmouth contributes approximately $5 million annually in supplementary funding. The additional monies go towards art, music and French language classes.
Councillor Snow said Halifax Regional School Board officials should be directing their efforts towards the Province to secure additional education funding- not HRM.
"The jury is still out on the performance of the regional school board as far as I am concerned. It has to learn to live within its means. It can't be running to us every year with an operating deficit. I'm not convinced the supplementary funding it is receiving now is being put to the best use. Throwing more money at the problem is not the answer," he said.
Councillor Snow said the residents of District 2 are paying enough municipal taxes now, without further adding to the burden, "especially when we have no guarantees that any new money will be spent in our District."
Councillor Gordon Snow