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Langley teachers and board set for showdown tonight

Langley teachers tonight will advise their school board that they have no confidence in District Superintendent Cheryle Beaumont. Langley School District currently faces a budget deficit of $8.3 million as a result of accounting errors.

In an interview with The Tyee, Langley Teachers Association Susan Fonseca said the move stems from “27 serious accounting errors” identified by an external audit conducted by Deloitte.

Fonseca said the LTA executive, made up of representatives of every school, had voted unanimously to submit the nonconfidence decision. The decision was discussed last night at a heavily attended extraordinary meeting of teachers and, said Fonseca, “passed without dissent.”

Fonseca said the LTA and Superintendent Beaumont had been in conflict previously, chiefly over “reconfiguration” of schools in the district that saw a high school converted into a middle school.

“We think there has to be some accountability when 27 accounting errors are made and the budget is overspent by 5.5 percent,” Fonseca said. “The superintendent’s contract says she is responsible for the financial and administrative oversight of the district.”

Fonseca added that the LTA has created a blog to keep its members and the public aware of developments in the funding crisis.

The school district’s own website has links to the Deloitte Report, the superintendent’s letter to parents, and the agenda of tonight’s board meeting.

Langley school district communications director Craig Spence, speaking with The Tyee, said: "The board has issued a statement of confidence in the superintendent in terms of dealing with the deficit situation."

As quoted in a report in today’s Langley Advance, “The elected board issued a statement at a Sept. 17 meeting, expressing ‘its full confidence in the superintendent to work together with the Langley school community and the Ministry of Education to address the district’s current fiscal challenges.’”

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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