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Ministry appoints two special advisors to examine school district governance

Victoria has appointed two special advisors to review the governance practices of the School District 57 Board of Education.

The advisors are:

  • Kory Wilson, executive director, Indigenous initiatives and partnerships at the B.C. Institute of Technology; and
  • Catherine McGregor, associate professor and associate dean of graduate programs and research at the University of Victoria’s faculty of education.

The appointments begin immediately, and the advisors’ review is scheduled to be complete on or before June 1, 2021. 

Last month the board announced Superintendent Anita Richardson was off on indefinite medical leave.

Earlier this month the Lheidli T’enneh and McLeod Lake Indian Band requested the ministry conduct a forensic audit of the district’s books. The First Nations said the district has not adequately divulged, through local education agreements, where federal funding for education, which flows through the communities to the school district, has been spent.

Wilson and McGregor have extensive expertise in Indigenous education and relations, as well as educational leadership and effectiveness, which will support their review.

The School Act enables the minister of education to appoint special advisors to review the activities, performance, and/or other matters of a board of education. Government can also replace an entire board with an official trustee.

Under the School Act, special advisors may enter schools and district offices, and can inspect board records. The board and its employees must assist the special advisors in carrying out their duties.

The special advisors will submit bimonthly progress updates to the minister and provide a final report.

At the conclusion of the appointment, the minister will assess the situation and determine next steps.

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