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Trustee Voting Records: January 2012 – June 2016

This is an unofficial summary of all motions brought to Standing Committees and Board Meetings of School District 61 Greater Victoria (City of Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, View Royal, and part of Saanich) since January 2012, when I started my first term as Trustee, and all Trustees took office, after the November 2011 civic elections.

This page is now a sticky post. Page links at bottom of page.

Page 1: Backgrounder (you are here)
Page 2: Motions January 2012 – June 2012
Page 3: Motions September 2012 – December 2012
Page 4: Motions January 2013 – July 2013
Page 5: Motions September 2013 – December 2013
Page 6: Motions January 2014 – August 2014
Page 7: September 2014 – December 2014
Page 8: January 2015 – June 2015
Page 9: September 2015 – December 2015
Page 10: January 2016 – June 2016

This post is an unofficial summary of all motions brought to Standing Committees and  Board Meetings of School District 61 Greater Victoria (City of Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, View Royal, part of Saanich, and Traditional Territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations) since January 2012, when  I started my first term as Trustee  after the November 2011 civic elections.
(Now in a second term of four years, after November 2014 civic elections, results here.)

Official meeting minutes and Bylaws, Policies and Regulations are on the SD61 website. Minutes are approved or corrected at the next meeting of the same committee / next meeting of the Board..

In Camera meetings exclude the public, and unlike bodies governed by the Community Charter, which have to declare intent to hold an In Camera meeting on the agenda of the public meeting, Boards of Education can call In Camera meetings without notice to the public. If there is a motion In Camera to report to the public and the majority approves via vote, the report is on the District website as ‘Section 72 Report” (see Section 72 of the BC School Act).

Lined Paper blog posts following Standing Committee and Board meetings in “The Record Off the Record” began in April 2012, since official minutes do not capture the interesting meeting processes and debate.  All motions here can be read in context with rationales and highlights of debate in the Lined Paper post for that meeting.

Most  motions on a Board meeting agenda (except for the unusual circumstance of a motion from the floor) have been previously discussed at one of the Standing Committees (Education Policy Development, aka Ed Policy or Operations Policy and Planning, aka OPPS). If amendments are made this often takes place at the Standing Committee level where discussion and debate can be more lengthy, and include comments from the public. This is why Board meetings may seem to move quickly through issues that one woudl think require more debate. That may have already happened in  a Standing Committee.

Motions may be defeated at a Standing Committee, but the mover can still choose to bring that motion to the Board meeting. Motions that are carried by majority vote at a Standing Committee appear on the Board agenda as “recommended” (though motions that have not been discussed at a Standing Committee have appeared as “recommended, as well, apparently by the individual moving the motion).

Near the end of every agenda is the item “New Motions / Notice of Motion”.  “Notice of Motion” and a “Motion From the Floor” are not the same thing. Many of these motions are referred to a subcommittee or a Standing Committee for further discussion.   Any referral should, according to Robert’s Rules,  take place by motion and majority vote.

For Robert’s Rules of Order terms defined, see any number of sources online, including Nancy Sylvester’s informative site, and the Robert’s Rules for Dummies site. The current Robert’s Rules Newly Revised, 11th Edition is not available online.

Motions in this post appear in summarized form. Ready?

asleep on laptop

September 12/16: Ed Policy & Directions: Tech, Equity, Transfers, Gender

 

strat plan sd61

 

BC School Trustees Association website here.
BC Principals and Vice Principals Association here.
BC Association of School Business Officials here.
Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium (ERAC) here. [George J. Ambeault, former SD61 Secretary-Treasurer is Executive Director.]

The Record Off The Record is  my personal record of and  commentary on SD61 Board and  Standing Committee  meetings. Official, approved  minutes are on the SD61 website, one  month after the meeting.

Sticky post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records  January 2012 – June 2016.   Motions may be shortened but retain essential information. Motions that carry are interesting, and so are motions that fail.

P1: Meeting Schedule /  Trustee  Appointments
P2: Ed Policy and Directions Meeting
P3: District 61 PAC (aka DPAC, VCPAC) Constitution excerpts / School Act re DPACs
P4: BCCPAC (British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils) info

Next Meetings
Mon Sept 19  7 pm Operations Policy and Planning (Board Room)
Mon Sept 26 7:30 Board Meeting (Board Room)
Mon Oct 3 7 pm Ed Policy and Directions (location TBA, hoping for Board Room standard)

SD61 Greater Victoria School District includes  students in Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal, parts of Saanich and the Highlands, and the Traditional Territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.

Meeting agendas posted on SD61 website Friday before the meeting. Board meetings are now audio and video recorded, though Standing Committees are not. (Under the Board of Education menu.)

A Policy Subcommittee has been formed to review Policies and Regulations, some of which have not been reviewed for several decades, some of which are redundant, and some of which are job descriptions and not Policy. The subcommitee has finished reviewing Policy 100, and Policies in the 1000 and 2000 groups. Recommendations will come to the Operations Standing Committee.

Trustees are assigned by the Chair as members of one of the two standing committees, Education Policy and Directions, and Operations Policy and Planning. Agenda setting is the prerogative of the Committee Chair, with input from senior administration.

Trustees don’t “have to”  attend Standing Committee if not assigned, and some don’t, but standing committees are the best opportunity for stakeholders, public, and partner groups to make their views known to Trustees as  Standing  Committee structure operates on less formal Rules of Order than does the Board,  ie. no need for a seconder for a motion, and a Trustee  can speak as many times as the Chair allows. The question can’t be called in a standing committee, so debate can’t be limited (p 500 Robert’s Rules 11th Ed. p 500. Clever Robert’s people don’t put the most recent edition online; you have to buy the book). Most substantive debate on motions takes place at the standing committees.  Standing Committees also provide for dialogue between  presenters and the Board. Many people believe Standing Committees have less status than the Board meeting, but for input to the Board and dialogue on issues, Standing Committees are the most powerful venues.

Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee:
Chair Leonard; McNally, Paynter, Watters  (ex officio Loring-Kuhanga – vote but not counted for quorum)
Education  Policy and Directions:
Chair Nohr; Ferris, Orcherton, Whiteaker (ex officio Loring-Kuhanga – vote but not counted for quorum)
Policy Review Subcommittee: (advises both Standing Committees)
March-June Leonard/Watters  //  Sept-Nov Nohr/Whiteaker //
Dec-Feb 17 McNally-Paynter. (During the 2012-2015 term, Trustees who pointed out the need for Policy review were told more than once by a majority of Trustees that it would be too much work for senior administration, and that it would take place on a one-off interim basis. That process resulted in nearly every reference to a strategic plan being deleted.)

For OPPs and Ed Policy,  “quorum is a majority of trustee members on the committee”.  However, the relevant Bylaw also says “All members of the Operations Policy and Planning Committee shall be ex officio members of the Education Policy Development Committee with voting rights”. So, assigned Trustees are the ones who count for quorum=3.

External Trustee Liaison assignments are made by  the Board Chair.

Trustee Assignments Sept 2016

 

 

Get The Politics Back Into Education

 

The Times-Colonist editorial of July 10/16 was headlined “Get the politics out of education”.   [Understanding the point, that vote getting expedience should not be the basis for education-related decisions made in the typical BC lib process consisting of announce ,then think, if anyone notices and there is an uproar.]    On the contrary, we need more politics in education. Political decisions have led to a desperate underfunding situation in public education in BC today which has been building since 2001,  while at the same time public money subsidies and tax breaks to private schools have increased.

Political ideology drives funding or lack of funding for public goods like education, health care and “income assistance” aka welfare. All public goods are struggling in BC, as political decisions direct where money goes, for example a  $100 million “Prosperity Fund” based on non-existent LNG revenue, and a $9 billion expenditure for the Site C dam, an unneeded, environmentally destructive,  widely opposed project,  for which you and I will pay until 2086. Meanwhile, parents fundraise for years for a school playground. [Wouldn’t you think a playground would  be a Ministry of Education-funded essential item for elementary schools in BC? Nope.]

At the community level  the call for “politics out of education” results in candidates for election to School Boards at all candidates meetings making empty platform statements like “It’s all about the kids”, “My kids / grandkids went to public schools”, “My relative was influential in plant genetics”, and “I will have to hear what the community thinks”. Do you know what kind of advocacy and principles you are voting for when pre-election discourse is reduced to “no politics”? Do the candidates have any ideas at all? Do you know why they are running for a Trustee position? [Trustees in SD61 are paid around $1300 a month, 12 months a year, with automatic raises. See D.2 a) here ]

We need clear statements of conviction from School Trustee candidates, and stated expectations of what candidates expect from provincial politicians in regard to support and funding for public goods, specifically for public education.

Let’s stop trying to make School Boards into a kindergarten-style Teddy Bears’ Picnic politics-free zone. They are made up of adults with differing views, resulting in occasionally heated debate, which is healthy and representative in a democracy. But voters need to know what those views are. In a little more than a year, on October 20, 2018, voters will have a chance to make sure we get the politics front and centre in education.

Published in the Victoria Times-Colonist, June 19, 2016.

June 20/16 Board Meeting: The Record Off The Record: Dress Code, Wellness Program, Policy Updates, New Ministry Directives for Capital Plans

…let’s not forget local enviro ed champion Lenny Ross, who retired this year.

strat plan sd61

 

BC School Trustees Association website here.
BC Principals and Vice Principals Association here.
BC Association of School Business Officials here.
Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium (ERAC) here. [George J. Ambeault, former SD61 Secretary-Treasurer is Executive Director.]

The Record Off The Record is  my personal record of and  commentary on SD61 Board and  Standing Committee meetings. Official, approved  minutes are on the SD61 website, one  month after the meeting.  

Sticky post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records  January 2012 – December 2015 (January – June 2016 to be added in August 2016). Motions may be shortened but retain essential information.

P1: Meeting Schedule /  Trustee  Appointments
P2:
Board Meeting
P3: District 61 PAC (aka DPAC, VCPAC) Constitution excerpts / School Act re DPACs
P4: BCCPAC (British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils) info

SD61 Greater Victoria School District includes  students in Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal, parts of Saanich and the Highlands, and the Traditional Territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.

Meeting schedule here.

  • 1st meeting for 2016-17 school year Monday September 12 7 pm, location TBA. [Wouldn’t it be nice to know that Ed Policy and Directions meets in the same place every month (and not have to wait to find out how far across town you have to drive this month) for example, in the Board room, as the Operations Committee does, and The Board meeting? Maybe I’m all alone on that.]
  • Meeting agendas posted on SD61 website Friday before the meeting. Board meetings are now audio and video recorded, though Standing Committees are not. (Under the Board of Education menu.)

A Policy Subcommittee has been formed to review Policies,  some of which have not been reviewed for several decades, some of which are redundant, and some of which are job descriptions and not Policy.

Trustees  are assigned by the Chair as members of one of the two standing committees, Education  Policy and Directions, and Operations Policy and Planning. Agenda setting is the prerogative of the Committee Chair, with input from senior administration.

Trustees don’t “have to”  attend Standing Committee if not assigned, and some don’t, but standing committees are the best opportunity for stakeholders, public, and partner groups to make their views known to Trustees as  Standing  Committee structure operates on less formal   Rules of Order than does the Board,  ie. no need for a seconder for a motion, and a Trustee  can speak as many times as the Chair allows. The question can’t be called in a standing committee. Most substantive debate on motions takes place at the standing committees.  Standing Committees also provide for dialogue between  presenters and the Board.

Operations Policy and Planning Standing Committee:
Chair Leonard; McNally, Paynter, Watters  (ex officio Loring-Kuhanga – vote but not counted for quorum)
Education  Policy and Directions:
Chair Nohr; Ferris, Orcherton, Whiteaker (ex officio Loring-Kuhanga – vote but not counted for quorum)

For OPPs and Ed Policy,  “quorum is a majority of trustee members on the committee”.  However, the relevant Bylaw also says “All members of the Operations Policy and Planning Committee shall be ex officio members of the Education Policy Development Committee with voting rights”. So assigned Trustees are the ones who count for quorum = 3.

Policy Review Subcommittee:  (advises both Standing Committees)
March-June Leonard/Watters (term ended)    Sept-Nov  Nohr/Whiteaker
Dec-Feb 17  McNally-Paynter.   During the 2012-2015 term, Trustees who pointed out the need for Policy review were told more than once by a majority of Trustees that it would be too much work for senior administration, and that it would take place on a one-off  interim basis. That process resulted in nearly every reference to a strategic plan being deleted.

External Trustee Liaison assignments are made by  the Board ChairTrustee Assignments Sept 2016

Although Paynter advised in his January report that the French Immersion committee had never met during his term of assignment and thus advised that there was no need for a Trustee rep, Administration recommended keeping a rep to the committee as it may be more active. Junior  Achievement has not needed a rep for some time so has been eliminated as a Trustee assignment.