An eye on ed­u­ca­tion

Seaway News - - Opinion - NICK SEE­BRUCH ni­cholas. see­bruch@ tc. tc

With less than two months to go un­til the mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion, things are about to heat up, but I want to bring more at­ten­tion to a for­got­ten cam­paign, and that is the cam­paign for school trus­tees.

I had writ­ten pre­vi­ously that all trus­tees in Corn­wall were run­ning un­op­posed, this was be­fore the nom­i­na­tion pe­riod had ended, but not that nom­i­na­tions are closed, we still un­for­tu­nately will see all of our lo­cal trus­tees ac­claimed.

This is not to see that all of our in­cum­bent trus­tees are un­wor­thy of re- elec­tion, but given the seis­mic changes that took place in the Catholic and pub­lic school boards this past term, and look­ing ahead at what is to come, it is sur­pris­ing that this trustee elec­tion has been so quiet.

The past term saw schools slated for clo­sure, other schools were amal­ga­mated and some prop­er­ties were traded be­tween the boards. This com­ing term will see the old­est high school in On­tario, CCVS, close and be merged with St. Lawrence Sec­ondary School into a new su­per­school that will be com­pleted by 2022.

All of the vig­or­ous pub­lic en­gage­ment that was seen in 2016 seems to have just evap­o­rated two years later in Corn­wall. In the United Coun­ties there are at least three peo­ple run­ning for Wendy Macpher­son’s old trustee seat. In the Coun­ties we have seen peo­ple who were deeply in­volved in the pub­lic boards 2016 re­struc­tur­ing process stay in­volved to en­sure that the vot­ers can weigh- in on their is­sues.

With such big de­ci­sions be­ing made in Corn­wall and with more still to come I en­cour­age vot­ers to not for­get about their trustee elec­tions. For the pub­lic board David Mac­don­ald is run­ning un­op­posed for re­elec­tion, vot­ers should make him aware of the is­sues that mat­ter to them be­cause after all, it is their tax money.

Four years ago, I was vol­un­teer­ing for a can­di­date in Ot­tawa at a polling sta­tion as an ob­server, I was sur­prised to see how many vot­ers had no idea which school board they paid taxes to and I’m sure that many of them did not know how much they paid ev­ery year.

Hav­ing cov­ered City Hall in Corn­wall for two years, I get the im­pres­sion that taxes be­ing low and be­ing spent wisely is some­thing that is im­por­tant to the cit­i­zens of this city. My ques­tion is how­ever, do most peo­ple in Corn­wall know which school board they pay taxes to? And, do they know how much they pay in taxes?

The amount that the av­er­age home­owner pays ev­ery year in taxes is easy to find out, the City of Corn­wall has a handy cal­cu­la­tor on their web­site. The av­er­age home in Corn­wall is val­ued at roughly $ 166,000 and there for the av­er­age tax­payer who owns that home will pay just shy of $ 300 a year to their school board. This ed­u­ca­tion rate is set by the prov­ince ev­ery year. Cur­rently, 10.5 per­cent of the to­tal mu­nic­i­pal prop­erty tax paid in a year goes to the school board.

Read­ers, what do you think of your lo­cal trus­tees? What would you change about ed­u­ca­tion in Corn­wall? Email me a Let­ter to the Edi­tor at ni­cholas. see­bruch@ tc. tc

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.