While election financing laws have been changed provincially, they have not changed for trustee elections.
Corporations, unions, and political action committees can donate to trustee elections and this must be changed.
Kids Come First and CAPSC (Calgary Association of Parents and School Councils) have launched a petition asking the Alberta Government to end special interest group financing of trustee elections.
Lisa Davis of Kids Come First states “Education must be free from influence of special interest groups who have funding available that ordinary Albertans do not have access to”.
These legislative changes must be made for the upcoming October 2017 trustee elections.
For example, the last Calgary Board of Education trustee was elected in a by-election in 2015. The successful candidate, Julie Hrdlicka, took almost $19,000 in union donations. This was a huge increase from past elections and was four times the amount the next candidate raised in total from third parties. School boards also spend millions of dollars on third party contracts, and it is important these expenditures are perceived to be free from interference.
Althea Adams agrees “the current government took important steps to special interest group financing from provincial elections, and now must move quickly to ensure that individual Albertans determine the election of trustees, and not special interest groups”.
Attached are summaries of financial disclosure documents for both the Calgary Board of Education and Edmonton Public School Board:
About Kids Come First
Kids Come First is an independent not-for-profit organization advocating for quality K-12 education across Alberta. Our mission is to build a better future for students by improving math education, advancing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) learning and ensuring as much education funding as possible is reaching the classroom. www.kidscomefirst.ca
CAPSC has been in operation in Calgary for 16 years. CAPSC is an independent voice for parents and school councils, and is committed to advocate for and respond to educational issues. Our goal is to ensure an excellent education for Calgary children. CAPSC represents over 40,000 students in Calgary through their school councils. www.capsc.ca