Is this the “Hill to Die On” for BC School Trustees?

Here is an excerpt from Crawford Killian in the Tyee regarding the vote to pass a “needs” or deficit budget in School District 27 Cariboo-Chilcotin:

“In a move similar to other financial crises dating back to the mid-1980s, the trustees of School District 27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) have voted 4-3 for a budget that would break provincial law by running a deficit.

The decision, taken at a meeting on January 28, puts the board on a collision course with Victoria and could result in the firing of the trustees.”

Read the full article here

See Janet Steffenhagen’s piece on the subject here

It’s a move I’ve thought about, and might take if I’m convinced it’s the best thing for our children’s education. It’s a bit drastic, but most Boards are feeling backed into a corner on the issue of ever dwindling funding to our districts. We are frustrated and many Trustees feel like we are banging our heads on the wall over this issue. The public is feeling the same, as we’ve been hearing clearly during our consultations in the last few months.

It would certainly be taking a stand. Much cooler than writing another letter. There aren’t that many options for taking a stand (or being cool, for that matter) as a Trustee, so a move like this would certainly get some attention. It might be the only way to finally say “enough is enough.”

It is a gamble though, but one I’d be willing to take as a last resort. Technically it’s illegal for a School District to submit a deficit budget in BC, so I’d have to look into that a little before signing up: let’s be honest here, I’m willing to get fired for your children’s education, but I’m not willing to do time in the Big House. Sorry, I’m just too pretty.

If enough Boards made the same move it might even be worth getting fired to be able to say “we’re not gonna take it!” I think it’s fair to say that most Trustees don’t make a living as Trustees (at least not in districts of comparable size to ours), so getting fired is not going to lead to homelessness for most of us. While I won’t be so bold as to call it volunteering (as some paid politicians like to claim) Trustees generally have other income coming in anyway and might be willing to risk it.

Of course, it could all backfire. At the end of the day, the provincial government will just appoint someone to replace the fired Trustees and push their budget through anyway.

But, it’s the process that counts. They would not come out looking good, and the state of the education system in BC would finally be front page news

What do you think?

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1 Comment

Filed under Canadian politics, Sunshine Coast Board of Education

One response to “Is this the “Hill to Die On” for BC School Trustees?

  1. TJ57

    couldn’t hurt.

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