School trustees right to stand on principle

Cowichan trustees keep word on restoring budget, Greater Victoria was close to "needs budget only" strategy

Is it legal for the provincial government to fire duly-elected school board trustees?

The education minister will fire the Cowichan District trustees if they don’t file a balanced budget by the end of this month.

Five of the trustees ran for election on a platform to restore some of the services that have been cut from their district in the last three years.

The community elected them based on that and they kept their word, voting 5-4 to submit a restorative budget to the government.

In order to file a balanced budget, the trustees would have to cut even more services from the schools in the district, thereby betraying the people of the community who elected them.

Greater Victoria School District trustees would be on the firing line alongside those in Cowichan, but for one vote. What services did our trustees have to cut to keep their jobs?

Contrary to what we hear from government about how they are spending more money on education and how there are fewer students every year, our school districts are forced to continue cutting programs and services to comply with the School Act and balance the budget.

If we want to fire any of our elected representatives, Education Minister George Abbott, for instance, we would have to engage in a recall process whereby the people get to vote. The Cowichan community that elected these trustees should have a say in this matter.

Heather Brown

Victoria