Voice of GESS heads to Victoria

Through municipal council, Lake Country youth councilor Vicki Boitchenko will have her concerns over underfunded high school programs heard by the Minister of Education.

Lake Country politicians want assurances that students will continue to hit the right note.

Council will write Education Minister George Abbott and demand that there will be funding for music programs at George Elliot Secondary School.

“They may be disbanded because of a lack of funding,” said Mayor James Baker.

“We want them to look at the  band, art and special education programs. They have been underfunded given increased costs.”

The decision to write the letter came about after youth councilor Vicki Boitchenko voiced a concern over cutbacks in the school’s music programs.

Baker does not consider cultural programs in schools a luxury and believes they do provide students with critical skills that will help them in the future.

“There are a lot of activities with socialization and being well-rounded individuals,” he said.

He also insists that such courses may ensure that some students don’t drop out of school.

“If you don’t have band or shop, there will be students that don’t enjoy or succeed at school,” said Baker.

The other concern for the municipality is that if programs are reduced at GESS, some students may start attending classes in Kelowna and that may force some families to pack up and leave Lake Country.

“Then we would start getting pressure to close schools because there aren’t kids in them,” said Baker.

 

-Vernon Morning Star

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