This morning PAN sent the following letter to the three political party leaders requesting consistency in the VSB prior to the election of a new board of trustees. (download pdf)
The Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of BC
The Honourable John Horgan, Leader NDP Opposition
The Honourable Andrew Weaver, Leader of the BC Green Party
Re: Vancouver School Board - request to maintain consistency prior to trustee by-election
Dear Premier, Mr. Horgan and Mr. Weaver,
The Parent Advocacy Network (PAN) is a diverse, non-partisan group of Vancouver parents who advocate for the best possible public education for our children. In the context of a changing provincial government, we write to you today to request that the official trustee, Dianne Turner, remain in place in her role until the conclusion of a trustee by-election.
While PAN firmly believes that the Vancouver School Board (VSB) should have a publicly accountable, elected board, and the new government should call a trustee by-election, we strongly assert it would not benefit our children to introduce further instability by replacing Ms. Turner, with a different, unelected appointee, before an elected board is in place.
PAN is not affiliated with any provincial or municipal party. We are concerned about the situation in the district, given the departures at the highest levels of staff and the ongoing confusion over the restoration of class size and composition. Stability and consistency must be maintained wherever possible. To remove or replace Ms. Turner prior to a by-election would be a change motivated by politics rather than the best interests of our students and schools.
Whether a single person or a board of nine, the trustee(s) works with the staff and with input from stakeholders, including parents, in the best interests of students in the district; Ms. Turner has been doing so since October. Ms. Turner’s experience and knowledge about the challenges the district is currently facing are crucial in retaining stability at this time; disrupting this would be its own political interference.
Until we once again have elected trustees in place, retaining Ms. Turner is the most prudent path forward, in the best interests of our children and the district.
We hope you will take this position into consideration.
Parent Advocacy Network
Hon Mike Bernier, BC Minister of Education
Dave Byng, Deputy Minister of Education
Hon Rob Fleming, NDP Opposition Education Spokesperson
Suzanne Hoffman, Chief Educator
Dianne Turner, Official Trustee, VSB
Gordon Swan, President, BCSTA
Hon Adrian Dix, MLA
Hon Andrew Wilkinson, MLA
Hon David Eby, MLA
Hon George Chow, MLA
Hon George Heyman, MLA
Hon Mable Elmore, MLA
Hon Melanie Mark, MLA
Hon Michael Lee, MLA
Hon Sam Sullivan, MLA
Hon Shane Simpson, MLA
Hon Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA
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