Friday, April 1, 2016

How the petition works

Our petition has been presented.  Sometime in the next 13 days the school board has to call the meeting.  PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do everything you can to attend this meeting if you are an elector.  Lethbridge had their petition meeting a week or so ago the vote came down to 40 votes out of almost 1000.  Your vote counts! Make your voice heard.  Remind the Calgary Board of Education that they are educating OUR kids, and that they need to include us in decisions like this.

How the petition works:

I've had a lot of questions over the last couple of weeks about how the petition I've been involved in works, so here goes:

Section 269 of the Alberta School Act describes what public school electors (that's anyone who is eligible to vote for public school trustees) can do if their school board won't involve them in a particular discussion or decision.  I've linked to a PDF of the School Act - you'll need to scroll down to page 168, or search for 'petition' in the PDF and use the up button to choose the last instance of the word.  Or just click HERE for a PDF of just the relevant pages.

So when someone decides they want to force a meeting all they need to do is gather 2000 signatures.  Each signature must be witnessed by an elector of the school board in question and that elector must then sign an affidavit in front of a commissioner of oaths that they are an elector and that they believe and signers to also be electors, and that they saw each signer sign.  Then the petition pages have to be gathered up and presented to the secretary of the board.

Once the petition is presented, the school board has 21 days to call a public meeting.  The meeting must be advertising according to specific rules (Section 270 of the Act).  The meeting has to take place within 90 days of the date the petition was presented.

At the meeting, a committee may be elected to study and make recommendations on the subject of the petition, in this case the safe and caring schools policies of the board.  The committee is made up of 2 members appointed by the board and 4 electors, chosen at the meeting.  The committee then must present it's recommendations to the board within 30 days.

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