“Do the unexpected. Take 20 minutes out of your day, do what young people all over the world are dying to do: vote.” ― Rick Mercer
As a candidate for school trustee, I researched how many voters actually voted in the last election for school trustee, what the election issues were for trustees now and in the past, and why was the turn out was so poor. Thirty Percent of voters or 9644, out of that 9,644 people approximately 5,000 ( I am being generous) people voted (15 per cent) for school trustee. This caused me to ask friends and strangers if they voted for school trustee in the last election. I asked, “Did you vote and why or why not?”
Many of the people under the age of 50 said they didn’t know what trustees do or that they weren’t aware of the candidates.
So, I want to answer the question as to what a school trustee does:
For Vernon this would include:
• approving and setting a budget of more than $110 million of taxpayers’ money.
• it includes approving resources that set students up for success, (SOGI 123, ).
• approving policies around boundaries, busing, facility planning, walking distances, school calendar just to name a few.
• approving extracurricular trips such as going to Europe, Japan, and other trips outside the district
• setting the Strategic Plan for the district.
• establishing conditions of employment for the district (what roles do we want in our district?)
• ATTEND MEETINGS.
The most common answer for those above 50 was “I have no students in the system so this doesn’t affect me.”
To this I answer:
• The environment we set in the schools helps build the leaders of tomorrow. These leaders will set your taxes, decide on the importance of health care and education in the future (two largest budgets in B.C.), and inspire future generations. The experience a child has in school often sets them up for success in the future.
• Seniors often complain that students are not as respectful as in the past, they complain about the educational system is more lenient, or about how youth dress. These are all things that school trustees can influence through supporting resources, creating policies, and creating and encouraging community involvement. B.C.’s environment and society are changing, and we have changed the delivery but not our curriculum, our curriculum has not truly changed since 1965.
It is time for all to get involved, exercise your right, and change a system. Please go out and vote for school trustees on Oct. 20.