CBE trustees look to get back on track
Calgary New CBE board to be sworn in Friday
It’s no secret that things have been tense between the Calgary Board of Education and Alberta Education over the last few years.
Between Bill 1 confusion, transportation woes, and the recent/ongoing review of the CBE’s finances by Alberta Ed— which came after a back and forth between the two in the media — trustees, and councillors are ready to get back on track and work together.
Marilyn Dennis, trustee-elect for Wards 5 and 10, said the board will be intentional in inviting positive and honest dialogue with the province and the education minister David Eggen.
“He’s ultimately the one who makes decisions so we need to have a good understanding between us on how decisions impact the work we’re trying to get done,” she said.
Eggen said he hopes to meet with the new board in the “near future,” and that he and his ministry will continue to work alongside the CBE to improve things.
Trina Hurdman, the former trustee in Wards 6 and 7 and trustee-elect in Wards 1 and 2 said the key to any effective working relationship is communication—but it has to go both ways.
“In the past, the CBE was always so anxious to advocate for our students that we may have been too aggressive,” she said. “We were just talking rather than also listening.”
She said the provincial government inherited a tough financial situation and the CBE needs to spend more time listening to their perspective because they have many more MLAs in the city than trustees. “What’re they hearing from parents and citizens? How do they think we can improve?” she said.
Incumbent trustee for Wards 11 and 13, Julie Hrdlicka, echoed these sentiments.
CBE trustees are ready to talk—and listen to Alberta Education.