A memo leaked to the official opposition yesterday created quite a flap when it was revealed that NL English School Board told administrators that any extra admin time for secretaries would have to come out of individual school generated funds. To be clear, the memo insisted that operational money provided by the board could not be used.
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Schools are not businesses. They do on occasion receive funds for school rentals, All fundraising activities at schools are supposed to be run through the school council for approval. It is a grey area because often schools are given donations by individuals, companies and community groups. That money is supposed to go to funding opportunities and the educational needs of students.
Some principals tell me it is not unusual for administrators to need a little extra secretarial time. Sometimes there is some slippage, other times "arrangements" are made.
I thought the e-mail and subsequent spin and backpedaling was disturbing. I'm really disappointed that the board would think for a minute that it's OK and demand that any extra administrative costs should come from money raised for activities in the school or for the schoo Any money that the school would have generated, whether it be funds for school activities through fundraising by school councils or through rentals, is money that would have been earmarked for activities for schools, for infrastructure in the schools, things that kids need.
Another story that the Auditor General and the media are sure to be looking into is how schools generate revenue and how that money is accounted for.
The confusion in the House of Assembly and in media interviews has sewn lots of confusion and may have opened up an unfortunate can of worms.