02/06/2015 02:03 EST | Updated 04/08/2015 05:59 EDT

Vancouver School Board mulls corporate donation policy after rejecting Chevron's money

The new Non-Partisan Association chairman of the Vancouver School Board says he will call for a review of a corporate funding policy cited as the reason the previous board turned down $475,000 from Chevron.

The policy came under the spotlight during last year's municipal election, after members of the Vision-dominated board said they were concerned Chevron's Fuel Your School campaign would negatively influence teachers and students.

But new VSB chairman Christopher Richardson says with the board facing a $12 million-shortfall, it would be irresponsible not to consider funding from corporations like Chevron.

"We don't want to relieve the primary funder of the responsibility to fund us, and provincial government should still fund the education system," Richardson told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff. 

"But we may be able to embellish it, enhance student experience by looking at individuals and foundations, and that's where corporate donations typically would be considered."

Lone Green Party school trustee Janet Fraser holds the VSB's swing vote; she said she's in favour of reviewing the school board's corporate donation policy but would not support accepting funds from Chevron.

"My concern with this Chevron Fuel Your School program is that it could lead to advertising in schools, that it is tied to gas sales in the district, so it is a marketing scheme," she said.

"Because it's a fossil fuel company, inevitably the use of the product will harm the environment and endanger our children's futures."

To listen to the full interview with Christopher Richardson, click on the audio labelled: Should the Vancouver School Board accept corporate funding?