This project provided foundational research that was used for a report intended to stimulate the policy debate over the role of education in western Canadian municipalities. An intern worked with the Canada West Foundation to uncover the relationship between school boards and municipalities in the major cities of Western Canada. Because school boards and municipalities often share the same revenue base, a number of different models for cooperation and community development programs have developed, including joint-use facilities sharing models and different means of levying taxes to pay for education, in order to capitalize on infrastructure and resources at a local level, while avoiding tensions between government agencies.
Urban Education: Exploring the Link Between School Boards and Municipalities – http://cwf.ca/pdf-docs/publications/August2002-Urban-Education-Exploring-the-Relationship-Between-School-Boards-and-Municipalities.pdf
The analysis is based on 32 in-depth qualitative interviews with key personnel from school boards, municipal governments, provincial governments, and other relevant organizations. The report examines the various types of tax frameworks used in school board funding and joint-use facility agreements between municipalities and schools boards. It shows that when school boards receive funding from the province instead of through local property tax levies, there is less tension between school boards and municipalities. In addition, the report suggests that joint-use facility agreements that allow schools access to parks and recreation facilities, and municipalities access to school facilities after hours, were uniformly successful at maximizing the use benefits of local infrastructure, though some city officials reflected that improvements could still be made.