Trustee training a waste of money

Re: New school board mixes experience, newcomers, Nov. 22.

To the Editor,

Re: New school board mixes experience, newcomers, Nov. 22.

Taxpayers placed five new trustees onto the school board. The outgoing board decided the new board should undergo training at a cost of $25,000.

For a school district facing a $5-million shortfall, it is astonishing that they can find $25,000 for such a venture.

Nanaimo belongs to the B.C. School Trustees Association and BCSTA already provides such training for trustees as part of their membership fees.

If I were a newly elected trustee I would be offended that an outgoing group of trustees would direct me to take such training.

In placing five new people on this board, voters desire new ideas and energy. It seems to me that the old guard and the superintendent want to squelch this.

Why not BCSTA experts?

My opinion is that the idea for this training originated with the superintendent and that the training is not intended to ‘help’ trustees govern effectively. Rather, the consultant’s sessions will be to indoctrinate the elected folks that they are to only be a ‘policy’ board and are not to interfere with management of the district.

My hope is that trustees will turn down this “opportunity” for governance training and instead seek BCSTA assistance and return the $25,000 to direct student services. I believe this is what the voters are looking for.

Dennis Keis

Gabriola Island