What do school board trustees do?
School board trustees are local politicians elected by and accountable to the community they serve. The provincial government delegates to school boards the responsibility for conducting the affairs of the school jurisdiction. The school board has many responsibilities, including:
setting school division goals that ensure students have the knowledge and skills that enable them to be better prepared for life;
planning school division priorities based on provincial curriculum requirements, community input, available resources and best practices in education;
developing and implementing an annual budget for the school division based on curriculum requirements and strategic priorities;
developing policies to guide school division administration and employees toward division goals;
ensuring residents of the school division are regularly informed about the work and achievements of the school division;
advocating on behalf of the school community to decision-makers and stakeholders on important issues that affect education, and to ensure education is a top public priority;
ensuring regular opportunities for public input and access;
evaluating the school division’s chief executive officer – the superintendent of schools.
Do I have what it takes to be a successful school board trustee? Am I prepared to put my community and students first?
Successful school board trustees put the needs of students first. They run for office because they passionately believe a quality education is one of the most important things a community can do to ensure students have the knowledge and skills that enable them to be better prepared for life.
Do I need to be an expert in education?
No, you don’t. The school board trustee does not serve as a professional educator or as the spokesperson for a particular interest group or region. The ideal school board includes people from all aspects of life and is as representative as possible of the community it serves.
When is election day this year?
This year, Alberta municipal and school board trustee elections will be held on Monday, October 16, 2017.
When is nomination day?
As per section 25 of the Local Authorities Election Act, nomination day is to be held four weeks before election day. This year, Monday, September 18, 2017 is Nomination Day.
How do I know if I’m eligible to run for school board trustee?
I know trustees cannot participate in making decisions where their economic self-interest could be in conflict with their public duty. Where can I find more information on conflict of interest issues as they relate to school board trustees?
Sections 80 to 91 of the School Act contain more information on conflict of interest matters, including:
the types of pecuniary interest;
the steps a trustee who is in conflict must follow;
the disqualification of a trustee;
the consequence of refusing to resign upon being disqualified as required under the School Act.
The economic or pecuniary interest of a trustee’s spouse or adult interdependent partner is deemed to be the economic interest of the trustee. The most current version of the School Act is posted online on the Alberta Queen’s Printer here.
How significant is the work of school board trustees in Alberta?
Alberta has 61 public, Catholic and francophone school boards with a total of more than 400 trustees. These locally-elected officials make important decisions about how to educate close to 600,000 students from kindergarten to Grade 12. School boards guide the expenditure of $6 billion in provincial tax dollars.
How do I know if I have what it takes to be a successful school board trustee?
Ask yourself this: are you prepared to put your community and students first? If you answered “yes” and you’re willing to learn and work with other like-minded people in your community, you are well on your way. You don’t need to be an expert in education – you just need to do your homework and serve your community and the students you represent.
What kind of training do new school board trustees get to help them be successful in their roles?
PRSD provides training and professional development for new trustees. The Alberta School Boards Association also provides new trustee orientation and online resource materials as well as professional development at spring and fall general meetings. View the ASBA website here: http://www.asba.ab.ca/