Trustees head back to class for Local Government Week

Toronto, October 16, 2017 – From October 16 to 20, public school trustees are heading back to class for Local Government Week!

The Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) and its 31 member boards participate in the annual celebration of Local Government Week (#LGWOnt) each October. The event is an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of the important civic contributions of school boards and municipalities to communities across the province.

School board trustees are the oldest form of democratically elected representation in Ontario. Since 1807, generations of community-minded citizens have made decisions on behalf of local publicly funded schools, building the foundation of the system we have today.

Many trustees are arranging classroom sessions, through school principals and teachers, with Grade 5 Social Studies and Grade 10 Civics students to discuss the important democratic role of school board trustee. OPSBA President Laurie French, a Limestone DSB trustee representing Greater Napanee, is visiting The Prince Charles Public School on October 18 to speak with a Grade 5 class.

"As the only locally elected individuals responsible for the achievement and well-being of our students, we must always use our voices to speak up for all students in our communities," says President French. "Local Government Week is the perfect time for us to meet with students in our constituencies about our leadership roles and how local government works to create stronger schools and communities for all. It's an opportunity for students to consider how being involved in their community can influence the future."

The next Municipal and School Board Elections occur on Oct. 22, 2018. In advance of this, trustees are providing an important first-hand learning experience during Local Government Week that fits well with the Social Studies and Civics curricula.

Fast Facts About Trustees

  • Trustees play a key leadership role in ensuring that schools operate within the standards established by the province, and that the programs and services remain responsive to the communities they serve.

  • There are three kinds of trustees:

    • Trustees elected every four years during municipal and school board elections, including 317 publicly elected trustees representing 31 public English school boards and 3 school authorities across Ontario.

    • First Nation Trustees appointed to the board by their First Nation. There are 15 appointed trustees among the 31 public English school boards across Ontario.

    • Student Trustees elected by the student body of the board. The Ontario Student Trustees' Association (OSTA-AECO) represents more than two million students.

  • The Kindergarten-Grade 12 education sector is the second-largest recipient of provincial funding, after healthcare. The provincial government invests nearly $24 billion each year in education.

  • Public school trustees oversee budgets ranging from approximately $40 million to over $3 billion.

The Ontario Public School Boards' Association represents public district school boards and public school authorities across Ontario, which together serve more than 1.2 million public elementary and secondary students. The Association advocates on behalf of the best interests and needs of the public school system in Ontario. OPSBA is seen as the credible voice of public education in Ontario and is routinely called on by the provincial government for input and advice on legislation and the impact of government policy directions. Visit our website at www.opsba.org to learn more.

For more information and to arrange an interview with President Laurie French, please contact:

May Moore
Director of Communications
Ontario Public School Boards' Association
mmoore@opsba.org  
416-340-2540, ext. 111


10/16/2017