Great news for CCSA with budget funding reinstatement for a year

The folks at Chemainus Elementary School are all smiles after news cut community school funding has been re-instated. - Ashley Degraaf/file
The folks at Chemainus Elementary School are all smiles after news cut community school funding has been re-instated.
— image credit: Ashley Degraaf/file

Even the eternal optimist in Wendy Lambert didn't hold out much hope of funding being restored for the Chemainus Crofton Community Schools' Association.

But her glimmer of hope was enough for School District 79 brass to see the light.

Just days after an emergency community meeting was held that generated a strong response and feedback to superintendent Joe Rhodes and secretary-treasurer Bob Harper about a substantial 50% cut to the CCSA, coordinator Lambert was informed of a full budget reinstatement. At least for one fiscal year until June 30, 2015.

"I think it was the support of the community and especially the publicity from folks like yourself (the News Leader Pictorial) that really made the point to the administration,'' said Lambert. "We are here and people are using the service. It's more than just one or two kids.''

While it's only a one-year reprieve at this point, Lambert is encouraged by the possibility of extending it.

"If they end up in the fall cutting it back to 50%, we're back to where we started,'' said Lambert. "The administration indicated we will be able to have a conversation in the fall. It gives us breathing room. We're happy with that.''

Rhodes, Harper and other school district administrators Lorna Newman and Jason Sandquist met with Lambert and another CCSA member, Heidi Elley, to deliver the news.

"Administrators and community members have shown the strength of working together for our children and families,'' Lambert indicated. "The numerous CCSA programs will continue for another year and I am sincerely grateful on behalf of our board, all our participants and our communities.''

The CCSA has been in existence for 14 years, including the last 10 with a coordinator. It provides a vast array of programs in Chemainus and Crofton community schools for kids, families and community members.

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