The following article was published in the Waterloo Region Record
Since 1997 when Ontario school boards lost the power to directly collect local taxes, there is have been periodic debates about abolishing the position of elected school board trustees. Abolitionists favour delegating all policy decision-making to the Ontario government with local management being directly responsible for implementing the decisions of the province.
Recent actions by trustees at the Waterloo Region District School Board and the Toronto District School Board demonstrate why eliminating the local voice provided by trustees would be a mistake. While many small examples exist of the typical representative role that local trustees play in supporting families, the decision by the Waterloo board to require masks to be worn by all students who are able and the Toronto board’s alternative reopening plan provide dramatic examples of the value of local trustees.