So, with the provincial election out of the way the Ontario political calendar begins to tick down to another critical date - local elections on October 22, 2018. Across the province in cities, towns, regions and school boards votes will be cast to determine our local leadership for the next four years. As the election has gotten nearer I have started to consider, once again, whether or not I want to throw my hat into the ring finally.
I work in education. I am a tutor and I see lots of students who attend different schools across the Region of Peel and the more time goes on the more I'm worried about the current state of education and where it is ultimately going. I worry that schools are not delivering the quality of education they are called upon, that they are failing to innovate and adapt in necessary areas, and that the boards' energy and efforts would be better shifted elsewhere than where they currently rest. So, I most seriously considering standing for election this time around as a school board trustee.
The deadline to register as a candidate is late July, so I still have time to make up my mind. Some are adamant supporters of this idea, but I have my doubts. I think I could bring something valuable to the position. I think with the new government in Queen's Park there is extra impetus for strong voices for education at a local level beyond teachers' unions.
Right now I am doing research. I want to be sure I fully appreciate the role and the current educational issues. I also want to sit with the idea longer. Do I want to put myself forward to scrutiny and criticism, even if I think it might be worth it? It's a difficult problem to wrestle with. Also, given my work, it could be problematic for my employer. In addition, there are many things in my personal life that need addressing. I don't know if I can justify the time towards this sort of effort at the moment. That will take some thought.
The idealist in me cannot help but think about the struggle of ideas and that there needs to be accountability in our system for good governance. My incumbent trustee is seeking re-election. I don't know the woman well, but my two efforts to contact her on issues of my concern were fruitless. I think education will have to undergo a radical transformation over the next few decades, and defenders of the status quo will just make things worse.
I haven't made any decisions yet, but I have to one way or another soon. I'll be sure to share if I do.