In Alberta, municipal elections are held every four years to elect people to serve on city, town and county councils and to elect trustees to local school boards. On October 18, trustees will be elected for each of the 62 public, separate and francophone school boards in Alberta.
To be able to vote you must
• be a Canadian citizen
• be 18 or older on election day
• have resided in Alberta for 6 consecutive months prior to election day
Voters who are Catholic and live within the boundaries of a separate Catholic school jurisdiction vote for the Catholic board. All others vote for the public board. Francophones can vote for trustees for the public or Catholic francophone jurisdiction for their area . Although Bill 68 the Election Statutes Amendment Act proposes to update the Education Act to allow for the expansion of eligibility for trustees in francophone regional school authorities.
School boards matter
School boards are responsible for the local governance of education and operation of local schools. They are elected by and accountable to the communities they serve, not just to the parents of students enrolled in school.
School boards provide direction and make important decisions related to the operation of local schools.
What school boards do:
• Establish goals and priorities and set the overall direction for the school jurisdiction
• Advocate for public education and the local school jurisdiction
• Develop, acquire or offer courses, programs and/or instructional materials
• Adopt an annual budget and allocate funds provided by the provincial government
• Maintain and operate school buildings, buses and other board property
• Provide for parental and community involvement in schools
• Communicate with stakeholders (staff, students, parents or guardians, the public, Alberta Education) about school jurisdiction plans and results
• Select a superintendent of schools and oversee his or her administrative work
• Establish policies and rules on the provision of educational services and programs. These include policies and rules related to
- student conduct and discipline
-transportation and busing
Collectively, school boards manage over $6 billion in public funds dedicated to public education. Alberta’s largest school board, Calgary School District, has an annual budget of over $1 billion and provides educational services for over 100,000 students, making it the third largest local government in Alberta!
Voters place the management of their public school jurisdiction in the trust of the board of trustees.
Trustees have a fiduciary duty to act honestly and in good faith. On behalf of the electors they make decisions about the board operation. Trustees represent the board and communicate with the public at school and board events and in meetings with school councils, parents or other members of the public.
Why you should vote
School board elections concern all citizens—whether you have children in school or not, we all have an interest in public education.
Albertans share in the responsibility for public education by paying taxes.
Public education develops Alberta’s future leaders, citizens and human capital—it is an investment in our future. Public education benefits all Albertans by developing citizens who contribute positively and function effectively in society.
We elect trustees to be stewards of our interests and to make reasoned and responsible decisions. The full and active participation of all citizens in school board elections helps ensure that the best candidates are selected.