Red Deer to host Alberta School Boards Association meeting next week

Red Deer school boards will meet with other boards from across the province next week.

The Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) spring general meeting is June 4-5 at the Sheraton Hotel in Red Deer.

Bev Manning, Red Deer Public Schools chair, said the annual spring and fall meetings are important for local school boards.

“We have an opportunity to come together as school boards throughout the province and talk to one another about different kinds of issues,” she said.

Manning said RDPS is concerned about the current balance of the Teach Employer Bargaining Association (TEBA).

“We’d like to see a balance in the makeup of that organization. Currently it’s weighted in favour of government representation rather than trustee-government representation.

“We’d like to see a 50-50 balance so we could feel like trustees have some important input in that organization and some weight when it comes to voting on things,” said Manning.

ASBA’s 2018-19 budget will be a major talking point during the two-day meeting, Manning said.

“Times are tight throughout the province and times are certainly tight for the Alberta School Boards Association as well,” she said.

Anne Marie Watson, Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) chair, said the budget for the past few years has been “a bit contentious,” so she expects a lively debate.

The ASBA is proposing a budget increase this year, which would increase fees from Alberta school boards.

The RDCRS board was “able to talk about it (Tuesday) night at our meeting so we will support the budget … and we look forward to the debate on the floor,” said Watson.

Watson said there hasn’t been a budget increase over the last few years,.

Other than the budget discussion, Watson said she’s looking forward to sharing ideas with other boards.

“We don’t have a motion we’re bringing to the floor – we haven’t put one forward through the process over the last couple months and we don’t have an urgent one we’re bringing forward,” said Watson.

There will be a few keynote speakers at the event, including Day One Leadership founder Drew Dudley and Lorraine Cardinal-Roy, Northland School Division director of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learner Success.

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