Congratulations to Judy Hehr for her election to CBE Trustee for Wards 8 and 9
And thank you to the thousands of people who voted for me. It would have been my priviledge and honour to represent you.
Our dream was not complicated. We wanted an education system that conducted its business in public scrutiny. We wanted a board of trustees honest and accountable to the voters. We wanted a board which focused their financial priorities on education first. We wanted a board that listened.
With Judy as our trustee we must now hold her accountable to these goals and the other promises she made that would result in a better operated and more transparent Education system. We will be watching Judy. Good luck.
Education Rights and Responsibilities - An investment into the future of Alberta
We have a responsibility to ensure that our children graduate with the skills and knowledge they will need to be productive adults. The Real World does not reward just showing up.
We have a responsibility to ensure students respect themselves, their peers, their teachers and school property.
We have a responsibility to ensure that our Schools are a SAFE Place to be first and foremost.
We have a responsibility to ensure that the money committed to education goes where it is needed first - the classroom
For these responsibilities to be met we need to put the Public back into the Public school system. Trustees are elected by school tax supporters. We work for you. It is up to the Trustees to fully engage and inform the public as to what is going on.
Where Passion Meets Purpose
It is not enough for us to be passionate about the education of our children. We need purpose. It is time Calgarians took a hard look at how our education money and resources are being allocated. Typically we send about $600 million a year to the province from property taxes allocated to education. The Province then funds the Public and Separate School Budgets as well as money for other charter schools. The Public School budget is just under $1.2 billion with $685 million of that in salaries and benefits. This is almost half of the entire budget for the City of Calgary municipal government and receives almost no scrutiny at all from the public.
This academic year our school system will face a $30 million shortfall while accommodating 3,000 more children in the system than last year for a total student load of 110,376. We have already seen classroom over crowding and fee increases that parents must bear. We expect 116,650 students by 2015. This problem is not going away and is not being properly planned for.
We need Trustees who are accountable, unbiased and open to hearing from both parents and teachers about what is best for our children. Above all they must be transparent in their decisions with timely reporting of what is happening. We cannot afford to continue having the School Board fly under the radar with Trustees working solely on their own agendas.
The job of trustee is to be the public watchdog for the school system. First and foremost they must ensure that money and resources are properly allocated. They must ensure that the concerns of the public are heard and dealt with.
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