The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.
Creighton and Denare Beach taxpayers each spent just $90 last year to send high school students to Flin Flon, Flon Superintendent Blaine Veitch said Thursday. Veitch, who made reference to the 2002 audited statement of the Creighton School Division, told concerned parents that he feels the student fees are far from exorbitant. "It seems to me that we're charging a reasonable cost and at very little cost to the local taxpayer," he said at an educational planning session held at Hapnot Collegiate. "Some people have the perception that the Flin Flon School Division is making all kinds of money on our agreement with the Creighton School Division." The Saskatchewan government paid the Creighton division $6,700 per student last year, Veitch said. The Creighton division in turn paid the Flin Flon division $6,790 for the Saskatchewan students to attend classes on the Manitoba side. About 130 students from Creighton and Denare Beach attend high school in Flin Flon because Creighton Community School ends at grade 9. A task force assembled by the Creighton division has released a report concluding that it is feasible to establish a full high school program at Creighton school. During his address to the parents, Veitch said he wasn't certain of the specific issues that led Creighton to look at the concept. The Creighton and Flin Flon boards won't meet to discuss the matter until December 4. See 'Look' P.# Con't from P.# Veitch suggested that governance may be one issue. The Creighton division pays the Flin Flon division hundreds of thousands of dollars in student fees without having representation on the Flin Flon board. The superintendent said the Flin Flon board has discussed the governance issue for years and has talked about different scenarios aimed at giving Creighton additional input into the existing high school program. One scenario is to form a joint standing committee with representation from both sides of the border. Such a committee would not be able to make final decisions or implement policies, as that right would still belong to the Flin Flon board. The second scenario is to allow Creighton a voting representative on the Flin Flon board. This would require a change in Manitoba legislation, but Veitch has already been given approval to begin talks with the province on the matter. The third scenario is a joint school board, similar to that of the border town of Lloydminister, Sask., on which representatives from Creighton and Flin Flon would sit. A desire to maximize the use of resources may have also prompted Creighton to look at the issue, Veitch told the parents. "The Creighton Community School, just like us, is facing a declining enrollment and they're worried about maximizing the use of their resources and their staff, and they're looking at ways of having more students in the school," he said. Veitch said the Flin Flon system is also facing a decline of students and mentioned his desire to see the two divisions work together to maximize existing resources. A final, less tangible issue that Veitch touched on had to do with a desire for autonomy among Creighton and Denare Beach residents. "It may be as simple as the people of Creighton and Denare Beach believe they are separate communities and should have their own school," he said. "In a lot of ways, we're one community, and I think you have to look at what's best for students in the whole area as you're going through the decision-making process."