By Letter to the Editor on October 13, 2021.
I would like to thank The Herald for including trustee profiles in your candidate highlight articles. These have allowed more members of our community to become aware of this role as well as some of the issues our local community is facing within education.
Prior to the 2017 election, I wrote a letter to the editor expressing frustration at trustees being overlooked within the municipal landscape of governance. Aside from profiles, trustees continue to be left out of local reporting.
Mayoral and counsellor candidates were mentioned as being part of the menu during drive-through voting service last weekend, but trustees were left out.
Trustees play an essential role: public education is funded through the education property tax and provincial revenue. Lethbridge Public and Separate School Divisions work with a budget of +130M and +51M respectively.
So what is a trustee and what is our role? Trustees are bipartisan representatives of the education sector.
Our role is to hold school divisions accountable to fiscal responsibility with local tax dollars; set policy and procedure to ensure a welcoming, safe, caring, inclusive environment for all; oversee the hiring of and office of the superintendent; and advocate for students, staff, and families at the local and provincial levels.
We promote public education, advocate for essential working conditions for staff, and ensure every student has access to an equitable education experience that allows them to be innovative thinkers who are successful, confident, respectful, and caring.
Every student is a valuable member of our community.
They are also our future, and will one day be our teachers, business owners, doctors, tradespeople, and leaders.
So, whether you have kids in school or are neighbours to those kids and families, what we do affects you and should matter.
Let’s invest in our kids and build a strong foundation for their success, together.