I attended an Abbotsford Board of Education meeting on June 18 and predictably realized, based on my extensive experiences in education in BC and elsewhere, that 100-plus frustrated teachers were about to become even more unhappy and frustrated … demanding that the Board support their point of view on issues pertaining to the strike…that they had chosen to implement.
The teachers’ union had grossly misjudged the hard-line bargaining position taken by the government and their strike was turning out to be strategically impotent.
But the board was not in a position to alter the bargaining process nor could it endorse the strike and the teachers’ position, contrary to the group’s wishes.
Nov. 15 is an opportunity to elect well-qualified new members versed in education and corporate governance, with some political savvy, representing the public-at-large and not retired ADTA or Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association members, who should enjoy retirement on the 60-plus percentage of his or her six-figure salaries.
The current Abbotsford Board of Education is doing an excellent job in light of limitations imposed by NDP and BC Liberal governments. And, B.C. and Abbotsford have one of the world’s best school systems with excellent teachers who do need more funding allocated into educational programs and support by the current government. But having a board with all new members is a recipe for poor governance, limited policy making, divisiveness and increased frustration for parents and teachers.