Donna Burke, District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) chair from 2006 to 2010, is running for Delta’s school board.
“The financial strains facing school boards compound year by year,” says Burke. “The ‘non-election’ in 2008 (when seven people were acclaimed to the Delta Board of Education) was very frustrating for those of us who wanted to have a frank and open discussion about the challenges facing school districts in B.C. Declining enrollment, an equitable funding formula, especially for special needs students, and deteriorating facilities are only a few of the important issues the next board will face.”
Burke believes the education funding formula is broken.
“Public education is suffering ‘death by a thousand cuts‘ and trustees need to be the first line of offense when it comes to petitioning Victoria for fair and equitable funding,” says Burke. “I look forward to working on a board that will reach out and mobilize parents and our education partners to present a united front and do what’s best for our students.”
Burke says she will push for this and is heartened by the number of quality candidates standing for election.
Burke is a strong advocate for parent involvement in public schools and the parent voice in school district governance.
“If I’m elected to the board I will be reaching out to all corners of the school district to ensure the people who want to share their ideas for improvement are listened to. The best decisions are made when there are a variety of voices in the room.
“I’m proud of the work DPAC parent representatives did when I was chair. We created a safe place for open, honest conversations with school district administrators and our other education partners.”
Burke says her role as a collaborative parent leader has prepared her well for the role of trustee.
“Our students are our greatest resource. Through my work with Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast B.C. I am impressed on a daily basis by the young people in our community. We cannot let them down,” Burke says.
The civic election is Saturday, Nov. 19.