An Arborfield man has created a GoFundMe page to raise money for a law firm that would be tasked with getting an injunction against the Arborfield School viability review.
George Schroepfer said on the GoFundMe page that he has already hired Merchant Law Group apply for the injunction against the North East School Division and that least $10,000 is needed to pay for the legal fees. As of March 20, nine donors have donated a total of $2,060 towards this cause.
Schroepfer is a local business owner and was born in Arborfield, and has lived in Arborfield his whole life except for a few years right after high school. Schroepfer said he has three kids who will attend Arborfield School. His daughter will be one of 15 children starting Kindergarten in Arborfield School next year.
Mayor of Arborfield Chet Edwards, who is opposed to the closure of Arborfield School, was asked if the community backed the GoFundMe page.
“If the community found that things were not done properly then by all means do what you have to do. We are talking about our school and our community,” he said, adding that the community seems to back the project.
Schroepfer created the GoFundMe page after he went to the meeting of the electors in February 2023.
“At that time, I did not realize how far into the review process the NESD actually was,” he said. “Had I known the process had progressed as far has it had, I certainly would have looked into legal avenues earlier. The school review process began in October of 2022, and I only heard rumours about it in December. I thought that the review was going to happen once the new school in Carrot River was complete.”
He did not want to comment about the actual application for the injunction at the time of writing this article. He did say in his opinion, “the NESD has not followed several policies and many procedures in regards to the school review process.”
Schroepfer said he has already paid the retainer and that Merchant Law Group is currently working on the application for injunction. He said he knows the money will be raised eventually, so he is not concerned about having to put his own money on the line.
“It will save my three kids 7,200 hours on the bus in their lifetime, so it’s worth every penny.”
The review was triggered because the current enrollment numbers and condition of the school itself. Currently there are 65 students enrolled, which is under the minimum target of 88 students. The NESD estimates that number would increase to 67 students in the next school year, while the mayor of Arborfield has said it could be as high as 98.
The NESD is scheduled to have their next board meeting on March 21 in Tisdale. A decision will likely be imminent on the Arborfield School and its future.
By Nicole Goldsworthy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Mar 21, 2023 at 09:03