Eliminating school boards a good first step-The Province


Very interesting idea here Jon. I’ve wondered about the value of our elected school boards too-although for maybe some different reasons. The participation of the electorate is always poor. Why? I believe because voters, usually older, don’t think they have any vested interest. They turn up for zoning changes or licensing conflicts or park ammendments. Active citizens who don’t vote during school board elections. Another reason for eliminating trustees is that sadly qualified, educated, experienced citizens seldom run for office. Again because to do so is mostly altruistic. Trustees are often well intended folks with very litle knowledge of the complex task of education.  My board often argues about vending machines, bussing or french immersion. Rarely do they debate issues that effect the primary goal. Learning. Politicians tend to run for positions of influence or financial gain. Why? I think because most folks are quite happy with our school system, granted based on vague notions and not fact. I confer with the idea that education expands beyond classroom learning but without quality classroom instruction the quality of life drops dramatically. There is proof everywhere. Our current generation of politicians, leaders, and innovators all were blessed with good academic foundation not just self exploration.  The strongest nations today all have history of strong institutions.

I’m still agitated about your reference to funding woes. “seemingly endless thirst for cash” infers that the system is just greedy and wasteful. This is not reality. Our BC public schools are doing more than ever before on reducing funds. Our society keeps adding expectations and conditions to schools without any assessment to cost.( ie. Compulsory Kindergarten or funding private schools)  Superintendents and school administrators and teachers are stretching dollars incredibly far in various ways. These agents have responded to the flurry of demands and restrictions largely without any protest.  If you wish to editorialize on education, I think you should also dig deep into how money is spent for services mandated over the past decades.

I believe that funding and school board trusteeship was far stronger before the current Liberal government gutted the School Act and hamstrung boards.
-Al Smith, Kelowna

Eliminating school boards a good first step
jferry@theprovince.com
The Province
14 Apr 2010

I often ask myself why, if public schooling really is as valuable as those with a vested interest in it say it is, British Columbians bicker so fiercely about funding it. Well, I think that’s because many of us realize there’s a big difference between…read more…

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