School Trustee - General Discussion

User avatar
Chmmr
Board Meister
Posts: 442
Joined: Mar 23rd, 2006, 7:35 am

Re: School Trustee - General Discussion

Post by Chmmr »

Moyra Baxter wrote:Hello there:

This may be an unusual thing for me to do, but I am very interested in the comments regarding the topics on this post, so I have decided to join this discussion.

I am currently the Chairperson of the Board of Education (School Board) and I have the good fortune of being elected by acclamation in the upcoming Trustee elections.

I did want to assure everyone that the current Board, and previous Boards, have done more than just write letters to the Minister regarding the lack of adequate frunding for public education.

We have:

Met with our MLAs on a regular basis and brought to their attention funding issues which affect our school disrict.

Met with Ministry officials and given them the facts.

Bent the ear of the Minister at every opportunity.

Discussed these issues with Teachers, Principals , CUPE and parents and recently sent a joint letter on this subject.

Reminded our MPs that there are some federal issues which they should be funding eg services for immigrant and refugee children, and that school districts shhould be GST excempt.

Taken resolutions to the BC School Trustees Association AGMs and Provincial Meetings so that BCSTA can directly lobby government on behlf of all school districts regarding funding shortfalls.

Parent Advisory Councils were never set up to be fundraising groups - that they find themselves "forced" to fundraise is shameful.

Moyra Baxter

Thanks for joining! We are glad to have you here. Can i ask how you think the best way to get PACs out of the fundraising role would be? I know my son's school has just raised all these funds for playgrounds, and now finds themselves raising funds for a variety of things including giving money to teachers to help subsidise field trips, and/or other learning activities, as well as giving money for new books, music equipment, and any one of a dozen other needs that crop up within the schools that they are finding themselves underfunded for.

I would also be very interested in hearing the stances of the people running for trustee, in regards to the french immersion program in our community, particularly in regards to students that want/need to attend a french immersion school, but are located too close to another school to warrant busing (since there are only a couple of options for schools when it comes to french immersion-Belgo and Casorso).

Reggin wrote:I agree re lobbying.

Funding foe playgrounds is always a problem for smaller schools and economically challenged areas.

Playgrounds are very important for active learning.

It IS the government' s role to fund adequate playgrounds.

Trustees, parents and even students need to pressure MLAs.

I agree it is the governements role, but unfortunately they fell short and failed our kids, yet again. A point i will certainly be remembering in the next provincial election as well.
User avatar
CarMa
Übergod
Posts: 1375
Joined: May 3rd, 2005, 11:57 pm

Re: School Trustee - General Discussion

Post by CarMa »

So, in light of the comments...

What would happen if PAC's refused to fundraise?

What systemic changes would we see in Public Education as a result?
User avatar
Chmmr
Board Meister
Posts: 442
Joined: Mar 23rd, 2006, 7:35 am

Re: School Trustee - General Discussion

Post by Chmmr »

CarMa wrote:So, in light of the comments...

What would happen if PAC's refused to fundraise?

What systemic changes would we see in Public Education as a result?

Well in regards to the playgrounds, the PAC's that have chose not to /could not raise the funds just don't have playgrounds to replace the structures that are being removed.
Moyra Baxter
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 6th, 2008, 2:23 pm

Re: School Trustee - General Discussion

Post by Moyra Baxter »

Chmmr wrote:
CarMa wrote:So, in light of the comments...

What would happen if PAC's refused to fundraise?

What systemic changes would we see in Public Education as a result?

Well in regards to the playgrounds, the PAC's that have chose not to /could not raise the funds just don't have playgrounds to replace the structures that are being removed.



There was a time when PACs, (or Home and School Associations, or PTAs before there were PACS) fundraised for the extras. A special field trip, for instance.

Then "Adventure Playgrounds" were invented, and suddenly the basic playground of a few swings, a teeter-totter etc , which was funded by the system, was no longer considered suitable (or safe). As these more elaborate playgrounds were not, and still aren't, funded through the Ministry, PACs decided to start fundraising for them.

Then came the issue of installation of these playgrounds - according to the Collective Agreement with CUPE, they must be installed by School District staff - there is a cost associated with this, too.

So, that's were we stand with playgrounds - although the district does provide funds for ongoing maintenance.

I haven't even touched on the safety issues, the way the Canada Safety codes change and tthe concerns about pressure treated wood, etc.

The topic of PAC fundraising came up at tthe Board's General Affairs Committee Meeting on Wednesday. We talked about how some schools are able,, for whatever reasons, to raise more dollars than others. The COPAC rep on the Committee spoke eloquently about the disparities in this area.

PACs are still fundraising for what I consider essentials - computers at the elementary level for instance. iIm afraid that with the Ministry mandated School Planning Councils in place, the PAC role is evolving into more of a fundraising role than an advisory one.

What to do? I'm a past president of PACs, COPAC, and even BCCPAC so I know all about the level of frustration this issue raises - and I still don't have an answer to the problem.

Moyra Baxter
User avatar
weavesilk
Posts: 70
Joined: Jun 28th, 2006, 8:48 pm

Re: School Trustee - General Discussion

Post by weavesilk »

RFWhiteley wrote:I was asked the following question by a citizen of Kelowna "What would it take to get a fine arts school in Kelowna (similar to the one in Langley) and is this something you would advocate for? Has this been considered before? If so, what has the response been in the past?"

Below is my response to this question:
The Langley fine arts school is a provincial model that is very successful. There are other fine arts schools such as the Beattie School of the Arts in Kamloops. The Kamloops school district has developed a model for schools of choice. I support choice provided it is within the public education system and, if there are a significant number of parents prepared to participate in the establishment of a fine arts school, I may consider advocacy.

That said, there are a number of issues to consider when schools of choice are proposed. My support would be based on how and to what degree these issues are addressed.
~Equity— access for all students within the district must be available
~ Fees—I do not support charging any fees for attendance, materials, equipment, transportation etc.
~Location is critical--the school must be established in an area that would allow attendance for all students regardless of place of residence within the district. I am disappointed that the school district is selling off valuable assets especially schools and school property. Enrolment projections indicate that by approximately 2015 student enrolment will increase and continue for a couple of decades. As well, with the added Board of Education responsibility for three and four year olds space for the provision of an educational programme for three and four year olds means the school district will need sites to house the increase in student enrolment.
~Child care—any new school proposal must include the provision of before and after school child/daycare options within the facility.
~Other issues to consider include grade configuration, impact of early childhood education initiatives for three and four year olds, administrative support, district policy revision/amendments, support for special needs students, scheduling, staffing, parent/community participation, busing, community access to the facility etc.

Where do other trustee candidates stand on schools of choice?


So, do any of the candidates have an opinion on this? As a grandparent of school-aged children, I'd be curious to know.
stanc
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 18th, 2007, 3:59 pm

Re: School Trustee - General Discussion

Post by stanc »

My name is Stan Chung, and I am standing up for Public Education by running for School Trustee. I'd like to answer the question about a Fine Arts school.

I support Choice within the Public School system. But we should be clear on what people understand as "CHOICE." I know the Langley example, and I know that other districts such as SD 57 in Prince George have other forms of "choice" schools such as Fine Arts, Traditional, French Immersion, Career Technical, and Montessori. But choice can mean other things such as Charter or Voucher schools which is currently advocated by Obama, among others.

The theory behind these ideas is pretty simple: choice allows competition, and competition can sometimes produce positive change, especially in larger organizations where "centralized control" is espoused to combat a number of so-called quality issues.

Fine Arts schools, in particular, are cherished by parents, especially those who see talent in their children. We all know children with great talent who have been thwarted and sometimes discouraged from reaching their potential because the expertise to support them whether as a dancer, painter, actor, designer, writer, musician, (among others) is simply not available.

While I support choice, in general, and a Fine Arts choice, in particular, we must all understand the obvious: that there are financial and operational pressures such as those noted by my colleague Robert Whiteley.

Here is a list of choice schools in Prince George:

http://www.sd57.bc.ca/index.php?id=645

You can download a brochure on how to develop a choice school here:

http://www.achievebc.ca/downloads/pdf/more_choices2.pdf

Thanks for the question. May your grandchildren reach their positive potential.

Finally, here is a link to the Langley school:

http://www2.sd35.bc.ca/lfa/about.html

Stan Chung
joepeeved
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 12th, 2008, 11:52 pm

Re: School Trustee - General Discussion

Post by joepeeved »

Lest we forget the greed

At the grocery store the other day I saw a thin pale young guy buying mac and cheese and processed meat. He was tallying his total while he waited to be sure he wasn’t over his budget. Like many, he’s probably struggling to get by on close to minimum wage. That is not a concern for our seven school trustees.

Trustees (except Nichol) voted themselves a 13.5% to 18.5% raise last December when they knew the budget to pay teachers, run schools, and pay staff was going to be cut by the government!

In meeting minutes, on November 28, 2008 they express concerns with funding: http://www.sd23.bc.ca/BoardOfEducation/ ... mber28.pdf.

Two weeks later at the AGM they vote themselves increases but carefully omit last year’s rates to make it difficult for people to do the math: http://www.sd23.bc.ca/BoardOfEducation/ ... 202007.pdf

I found da math: http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:u3 ... cd=3&gl=ca

Trustees make $70 to $90 per hour to sit in meetings and take some phone calls from parents. Is this public service or pigs at the public trough?

Parents and citizens turn off Dancing with the has-beens, come to the Nov. 13 trustee debate and ask them where they get their nerve!! On Nov 15, don’t elect any incumbents.

Lest we forget
peacher
Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 18th, 2008, 12:46 pm

Re: School Trustee - General Discussion

Post by peacher »

[quote="joepeeved"]Lest we forget the greed
Trustees (except Nichol) voted themselves a 13.5% to 18.5% raise last December when they knew the budget to pay teachers, run schools, and pay staff was going to be cut by the government!

It's all very easy to look around a room, see who is in favour of a (well-deserved in most cases) raise in pay, then, being satisfied that the majority would vote for it, vote 'no' in order to appear to be a highly-principled champion of the underdog. I would have more faith in Shelly Nichol's sincerity of purpose if she could and would publicly state that either (a) she refused to accept the raise, or (b) what charity she is donating the extra money to. As it stands, she does not come out of the thing looking all that noble to any thinking person.

By the way - the vote for the raise was taken in 2007 before the government announced the surprise claw-back this year.

Maybe Joepeeved should spend some time attending meetings and learning what trustees really do, rather than making reckless statements about pigs at troughs.
joepeeved
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 12th, 2008, 11:52 pm

Re: School Trustee - lest we forget

Post by joepeeved »

You must be a trustee. The minutes tell the facts. It states 2 weeks before the pay raise that trustees knew about the funding cut backs. The only surprise was the exact amount. Don't try to mislead people they aren't that stupid.
armor
Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 11th, 2008, 12:50 pm

Re: School Trustee - General Discussion

Post by armor »

joepeeved wrote:You must be a trustee. The minutes tell the facts. It states 2 weeks before the pay raise that trustees knew about the funding cut backs. The only surprise was the exact amount. Don't try to mislead people they aren't that stupid.


Hope you attend the forum in Kelowna tonight. Then you can really vent your spleen and maybe actually get the true facts of the matter.
sunnybeach
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 29th, 2008, 10:31 am

Re: School Trustee - General Discussion

Post by sunnybeach »

:ohmygod:
I don't think you realize how much work most Trustees do. There is more to being a Trustee than going to a Board Meeting. Trustees attend school functions, go to committee meetings, visit schools, talk to parents, staff and children. I have children in elementary school and I often see some Trustees at the schools.

I think in making a statement that the Trustees get $70-$90 an hour you meant $7-$9 an hour at least the Trustees that I know of (Nicholl is not one of them).

We should be thankful for the Trustees that we have on this Board and the way they work TOGETHER to improve the education of our children.

No I am not a Trustee but I am a concerned parent who wants the best education for my children.
joepeeved
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 12th, 2008, 11:52 pm

Re: School Trustee - Lest we forget

Post by joepeeved »

oh, of course you're a parent.

For anyone who hasn't taken a look at the AGM minutes, the rates are
Trustees: $17,261.00
Vice-Chairperson: $18,135.00
Chairperson: $19,461.00

Let's see.
16 meetings a year at 2.5 hours per meeting = 40 hours
say the same amount of time talking to parents = 40 hours
say a generous 12 hours travel time
Total = 92 hours per year

Total = the minimum $17,261 / 92 hours = $187/hour.

Not bad.
User avatar
Chmmr
Board Meister
Posts: 442
Joined: Mar 23rd, 2006, 7:35 am

Re: School Trustee - Lest we forget

Post by Chmmr »

joepeeved wrote:oh, of course you're a parent.

For anyone who hasn't taken a look at the AGM minutes, the rates are
Trustees: $17,261.00
Vice-Chairperson: $18,135.00
Chairperson: $19,461.00

Let's see.
16 meetings a year at 2.5 hours per meeting = 40 hours
say the same amount of time talking to parents = 40 hours
say a generous 12 hours travel time
Total = 92 hours per year

Total = the minimum $17,261 / 92 hours = $187/hour.

Not bad.

Said it on the other thread but i'll say it here too-i guess that explains where alot of the funding for our district goes. *bleep*! Can't blame victoria for that one. I really wish i could be at the meeting tonight-hopefully someone asks them about this. It's not to late to go either-meeting starts at 7pm and goes until 9pm at the Hollywood Road Education Centre!
User avatar
CarMa
Übergod
Posts: 1375
Joined: May 3rd, 2005, 11:57 pm

Re: School Trustee - General Discussion

Post by CarMa »

Trustees...
- attend Board meetings, both those in front of the public and behind closed doors
- attend committee meetings
- have required reading (legislation, communication, policy, etc) in order to make informed decisions
- attend school functions
- communicate with parents and administration
- attend regular meetings with municipal councils
- participate in community committees and organizations
- attend COPAC meetings

...AND MORE.

I'm a parent and a teacher. I've taken the time to find out what trustees actually do, not just what the public thinks they do. I've seen them do it.

I'm not going to begrudge them their $17,000.

How about the 43 percent increase for Campbell's Deputy Minister, putting an additional $105,000 in her pocket, increasing her salary to $348,600
joepeeved
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 12th, 2008, 11:52 pm

Re: School Trustee - Lest we forget

Post by joepeeved »

I'll grant you some of that. But let's take travel time out of the equation. Most of us don't get paid to drive to work.

New calculation:

16 board meetings at 2.5 hours = 40 hours
talking to parents = 40 hours
misc meetings and um, doing their homework = 40 hours
Total = 120 hours per year

That works out to $140/hour.

Go back at my original post. I speak about a lot of people here barely being able to afford food even with higher education.

How on earth do trustees justify voting themselves a hefty raise (13.5% to 18.5%) knowing that the funding cuts were coming? These are cuts that affect the education of your kids. I don't know why a parent would be okay with that.

I won't be voting for incumbents. I did my homework (unpaid). All politicians continue to give themselves raises because they think people aren't paying attention. Please pay attention and make your vote count.

Return to “Kelowna”