School boards set goals for students and make strategic plans for the for education across the province, are made up of a team of elected officials. These elected officials are known as trustees, and their positions will be on the ballot this October!
What Is A School Trustee?
A school trustee is a member of a local school board, and they represent their community, similarly to how a councillor represents a ward for the city. In fact, school boards are separated into wards based on geography, too! From among themselves, trustees will elect a chairperson who will preside over board meetings and can express the views of trustees to the senior managers of the board, including the Director of Education. The representatives of these geographic regions advocate for the school-related issues about which their community cares, through the following duties and guidelines:
- Attend board and committee meetings as part of the team of other elected members
- Develop and vote on board policies
- Approve budgets and capital expenditures, including renovations, new schools or facilities, and school closures and amalgamations
- Conduct their duties in accordance with provincial policy
- Make sure that all students, regardless of identity or background, are given the opportunity to succeed
- Act as a community leader, while making choices that are in the best interests of their constituents
In London, there are four boards: the London Catholic District School Board, the Thames Valley District School Board, Conseil scolaire catholique Providence, and Conseil scolaire Viamonde. Regardless of the board, the community can influence the direction their school board takes on issues through school board trustees.
School Board Elections: Why They Matter
A school board trustee is supposed to represent their community in the decisions they make on issues related to education. The way the public has their say is through elections every four years, as part of the municipal election. This year, the election is on October 22 for a term that will end on November 22, 2022.
A lot can happen in four years! You’re not just heading to the ballot box with one important decision to make – your vote will help shape the direction of London schools, too. Voting for the school board trustee is no less important than other positions, especially for those who have or will have school-aged children. Before casting a vote, read what the candidates have to say and think about how their beliefs will affect your children! Elected trustees should represent their communities as effectively as possible, but this can only happen if people get out and vote!