On April 13, 2015, there will be a by-election to fill a vacancy on the CBE board of trustees. Both for those considering running for election and those researching their vote, we want to address the work of the public school trustees in Calgary.
The board has seven (7) trustees, each of whom represents two city wards. Those two wards contain between 20 and 40 schools, depending on the area in the city. Trustees are expected to be familiar with the issues that affect their schools, respond to parents of students in those schools, and attend events to which they receive invitations.
Trustees also have regular board meetings (both public and private) as well as informal work sessions. These meetings average between six and nine hours per week. Add to that preparation time of reading reports, responding to questions from constituents and attending events (see above), the job is expected to take about 20 hours per week, some of which may be in the evening. For this half-time work, trustees earn a salary of about $45,000.
The Alberta School Boards Association has put together much more detailed information about the purpose and responsibilities of school boards and trustees. For the last 4 years, ARTICS has encouraged and advocated for Trustees to be more accountable, transparent and responsive to the public.