SDG formalizes Rural Education committee

CORNWALL – In a move to continue discussion and advocacy for rural education in SDG Counties, Counties Councillors adopted formal terms of reference for its ad hoc Rural Education Committee at its last council meeting on October 17.

The committee, which was struck in 2019 in response to the school closure processes initiated by the Upper Canada District School Board and Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario in 2016, completed a number of goals including a report on rural education and hosted an education symposium.

To continue focus into the next term and serve as a possible rallying group when the moratorium on school closures is lifted by the Ontario government, the committee now has a budget and a formal mandate.

The committee will continue to have one representative from each lower-tier municipality. Those appointments are selected by each municipality and can either be an elected official or a lay appointment.

Unlike the Police Services Board or SDG Library Board, appointments are recommended by the lower-tier councils rather than sought only by the upper tier council. Appointments are for a two year term.

The mandate of the committee is to identify ways to improve access to education for rural students, and make recommendations to SDG Counties Council.

A budget of $15,000 per year has been assigned to the committee.

Between four-to-six meetings of the rural education committee will take place. As a committee of council, the meetings are open to the public.

Appointments to the board will be sought in January 2023.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader