Monday, October 26, 2009

If I had a nickel . .

for every time I heard Children are our most important/best resource, Children are our future, A well-educated youth is essential for our society, or Do it for the kids I could live my fantasy life in a penthouse in Upper East Side Manhattan, including limo service, box seats at the theatre, opera, lazy days at the Met and MOMA, dinner at Elaines, martinis at the Algonquin . . and still have spare change.

Today the SP beat me on comments regarding the lack of interest in the school board candidates. 35,000+ students in this city can be affected by the people sitting at the board tables making decisions on policy and programs. They negotiate employee contracts. They decide on school closures, repairs and new construction. Board members still have the responsibility of appropriately spending three to four hundred million dollars. Previously these board members could simply increase the mill rate for what might be considered necessary spending. This term some hard decisions may have to be made as they attempt to live within a budget. Those decisions could be critical to the education delivered to thousands of students.

Last week on the John Gormley Show municipal candidates were invited to call in and share - except for school board candidates. The insert in Saturday's Star Phoenix did not include school board candidates - they were relegated to Monday's paper. Sadly many voters have come to rely on the SP insert to review all candidates prior to election and keep the insert for study prior to election day. Some of the same voters may only take the papers on weekends. And not everyone owns a computer to access the city's website.

No one seems much interested to whom we entrust our children for their care. Pretty sad that this valuable resource is treated so lackadaisically.


  1. I couldn't agree with you more Mistress. I heard there was a existing trustee in Regina that left because he could not tax the crap out of everyone anymore. My words not his. But yes this is an important part of our civic election and our community as a hold. But the media will only follow the school boards if there is a scandal or at tax time. Our school boards need new people as the same-old same-old just wont cut it anymore.

  2. Anon
    I would be intersted in what you base the same old, same old comment on. Based on the research I have been able to glean from media reports and at leaset on boards web site I could argue that is certainly is not the same old. Interesting what a
    budget based on year old data and growing student population can do to sharpen the focus.

  3. Well lets see, I'm not sure what "media" reports you talk about but until a couple of weeks ago there wasn't one story about a school board meeting in any media. I've watched for years as both these boards waste millions on advertising to gain students from the other division. Why else would we see huge billboards advertising something that is mandatory. Your kid must go to school its the law. And any mention about all the "high cost/low student" specialty programs they are running to entice students to go to their system. When was the last time you saw a different mill rate between the divisions?? Oh but there was never any collusion between the systems. The fact the Province found it necessary to take over the reigns of taxation from these trustees speaks millions about their abilities to safeguard our tax dollar. I want to see people that want to make a difference. I'll be casting my vote for change.

  4. It is very difficult to get the voters attention & interest in civic elections,especially so for school board trustee elections. So it is most disconcerting when the media ranks it so low on the list of importance as well.
    Some voters have actually suggested that they simply fill in 7 names without any knowledge of who these candidates are or what there policy positions are. One has to wonder why so much apathy..very sad indeed!

  5. You are right mistress. Voters rely heavily on the media to garner information concerning the candidates and their respective policy positions. The lack of interest /attention given the school board candidates by the media is pathetic! It is a true insult to the school board candidates to have been left out of Saturday's election insert. They know readership is not near as high on Mondays. Further,its beyond comprehension that the Star Phoenix didnt print the election insert prior to the advance polls.
    Lets hope th emedia takes note & corrects itself next civic election!


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