Education Minister Mike Bernier released the following statement on the appointment of former Delta school district superintendent Dianne Turner as official trustee for the Vancouver school district to replace the board of trustees dismissed today:
“The Vancouver school board has been dismissed for failing to comply with the School Act which required the board to adopt a balanced budget by June 30, 2016. Dianne Turner has been appointed as official trustee for the district.
“This step has been taken despite the possibility that the board may now be willing to pass a balanced budget. It is impossible to have any confidence that a potential last-minute change of position on the district budget signals a fundamental change in the attitude which has so far led the board to refuse to follow the law.
“What we have witnessed from the Vancouver school board is a misplaced focus on political tactics rather than responsible stewardship.
“In addition to the fact of non-compliance, since the end of June there have been a number of publicly-reported developments which are causing concern about stability in Vancouver schools for students. The BC School Superintendents Association informed my ministry of troubling allegations regarding trustees and a workplace that has become toxic for staff. WorkSafeBC is looking into allegations of bullying. I have received letters of concern from people inside the school district.
“Parents in Vancouver and the province are counting on Ms. Turner to end the continuing turmoil that has dominated the Vancouver school board for too long. After restoring order in district operations, it will be her job to work with her district team and develop a plan that puts Vancouver back on a firm financial footing while further accelerating seismic upgrades and preserving education services for students.”
- An official trustee, appointed under the School Act, assumes all the duties and responsibilities typically required of a board of education, including the obligations to conduct public board meetings and community consultations.
- Turner’s appointment as official trustee is for one year, with the option to extend.
A backgrounder with a bio on Dianne Turner follows.