Chair blasts release of confidential info

Information leaked last week regarding the Chilliwack school district’s accumulated surplus went against board policy, says the board chair.

Information prematurely leaked to a local media outlet last week regarding the school district’s accumulated surplus was inaccurate and went against board policy and protocol, says the chair of Chilliwack’s board of education.

In a statement released Monday, board chair Doug McKay said comments made in the media by trustee Silvia Dyck were out of line, inaccurate, and did not represent the board as a whole.

Dyck, who chairs the district’s finance committee, disclosed information to the Chilliwack Times that was discussed in a finance committee meeting held last week about the district’s accumulated $6 million surplus, of which she said $35,000 was accumulated from school busing fees.

However, finance committee meetings are closed to the public. Information in them is not to be discussed until after they have been presented to the board as a whole at a public board meeting.

When contacted by The Progress, McKay wouldn’t detail how the information released was inaccurate, as it hadn’t yet been discussed at a board meeting, but said he was deeply disappointed.

“To provide the public confidential data through an inappropriate media release is problematic for the school board and the school district,” he said. “It raises unfounded concerns in our community by our constituents when information that is only partly accurate is released to them.”

This process is not new.

According to Policy 212, In-Camera Meetings, “no trustee shall disclose to the public the proceedings of a closed meeting unless a resolution has been passed at the closed meeting to allow such disclosure…”

According to Policy 205, Code of Ethics for Trustees, trustees must, “respect the confidential business of the board.”

“We need to be sharing information in the proper way,” said McKay. “To raise the angst of parents especially, but of the community as a whole [before decisions have been made] it just saddens me that this has happened.”

Dyck did not return phone calls made by The Progress prior to deadline.

kbartel@theprogress.com

twitter.com/schoolscribe33

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