I’d Fund the School Board for One Year
That’s right, the Durham District School Board’s budget for this year is just over a billion dollars
($1, 013,223,241 to be exact!) Trustees are your local watchdogs on how that money is spent and yet many people don’t understand what these elected officials do. As a former Pickering trustee with seven years of experience, I’d like to help demystify the job.
Across Durham Region there are 11 elected Trustees, two are from Pickering. The School Board is governed by these elected trustees who ensure that the Director of Education and their staff provide Durham students with the quality education that prepares them for bright futures.
While the provincial government mandates curriculum, collective bargaining, and the funding of education, trustees amplify the voices of locals and ensure the community is getting what it needs from funding resources.
Communication is at the core of the trustee’s job. In my years as a trustee, I found that parents, grandparents, and School Community Councils were invaluable resources, bringing passion and insight to the table. Being in tune with our community made me a better trustee and helped shine a light on inequities in our schools.
During my tenure, equity was a matter of providing new science labs at Dunbarton, a student Health Centre, an addition to Vaughan Willard, a breakfast program at schools where kids were arriving hungry, the relocation of the Gifted Program to William Dunbar, and the long-awaited addition to Frenchman’s Bay. These are just some of the initiatives launched from concerns communicated by parents and educators.
Trustees also need to work together. Some inequities are system-wide and if trustees don’t cooperate, students suffer. Making bussing less stressful for kids with two households and ensuring that all schools had their own custodial staff were important regional projects during my time on the board.
On October 24th you will choose two trustees to represent Pickering and help determine how $1 billion tax-payer dollars will be spent. Please vote and choose wisely.
Trustee candidate, DDSB,