Delta school trustee Val Windsor Thursday announced her intention to seek re-election in next month’s municipal election.
Windsor has seen the education system from many sides of the teachersâ€™ desk. Her three children attended Delta public schools and she taught in Delta and Vancouver for 32 years. She was president of the Delta Teachersâ€™ Association, served on the B.C. College of Teachers and the executive of the B.C. Teachersâ€™ Federation, and she is vice-chair of the current Board.
"It is important for trustees to have an understanding of their school district in order for them to be effective advocates for students,â€ Windsor said. â€There is more to the position than attending two meetings a month. As an involved trustee, I gain a better understanding of the concerns of schools and parents in the district and the work I do at the Metro and Provincial levels give me a picture of the wider scope of public education.â€
Windsor said she is pleased that trustees are finally speaking with a united voice about the need for a fully funded public education system. However, she is still concerned with the downloading of extra costs to school districts by the provincial government.
"Two years ago, for example, the CUPE wage settlement, at a cost of approximately $900,000, was downloaded on the district along with increases in benefit and Hydro costs," she said. "These costs are now factored into the budget which means that tough decisions have been made in order to balance the budget which is a legal requirement"
Windsor also said reliable, stable government funding would enable boards to budget more accurately.
â€œGovernment has promised to fund the recent contract with teachers, which is good news for the Delta education system. I hope it is a trend that continues,â€ said Windsor. â€œFunding for students with special needs has not increased since 2010,â€ she said, â€œbut the costs have risen due to contractual obligations, inflation and other related expenses. I believe in the integration of students in the regular classroom. In order for the education system to support all students, however, proper funding must be guaranteed by government.
â€œAlthough funding is an ongoing worry, we are fortunate to have dedicated, committed employees in our system who work hard to ensure that the education students in Delta receive is among the finest in the provinceâ€, said Windsor. â€œIt would be a privilege for me to continue to serve the citizens of Delta as a school trustee."