DPAC opposes calls for byelection

School District #83’s District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) is opposed to a movement in the province to force a byelection soon

School District #83’s District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) is opposed to a movement in the province to force a byelection soon after the dismissal of a school board.

In the wake of the dismissal of the Vancouver School Board by the provincial government, some educational organizations, including the BC School Trustees Association, have called for the minister of education to require elections within the six-month time frame.

The previous dismissal of the North Okanagan-Shuswap school board earlier this year, with the recommendation that an official trustee remain in place until the next regularly scheduled election in 2018, is being pointed to as an example of where democracy is being negated.

But this isn’t sitting well with the DPAC, who have had front-row seats to the dysfunction that preceded the board’s dismissal.

“While we strongly support the principle of democratically elected school boards, we know intimately the need for, and value of, an appointed trustee in times of dysfunction,” members of the DPCA wrote in a letter to the education minister. “As a board is dismissed only in unusual circumstances, each situation is unique and should not be under pressure of a predetermined time frame in which to hold an election.”

The letter goes on to reject calls by other school districts for election of a new board.

“As a district, we are currently making progress on several key recommendations in the report, under the leadership of our appointed Trustee, Mike McKay. Rebuilding the trust of all stakeholders in our district requires a professional, consultative and judicious approach – one that Mr. McKay has clearly demonstrated. Our district needs time to stabilize and rebuild before we can move forward with a new board,” continues the letter.