Bruce Reid is one of the Delta school trustee candidates running in this month's civic election. Here are his responses to a questionnaire from the Optimist:
1. Bio – Tell readers a bit about yourself and why you are running for office.
I am currently a School Board Trustee, a former teacher, high school counsellor and pastor. I am a father of three and grandfather of five, soon to be six. I am running to continue to advocate for the needs of all students, especially for those who have been disadvantaged by underfunding.
2. Most pressing issue – What issue are you most passionate about and what action will you take on it?
The biggest concern for education in Delta is ensuring that funding is in place to help all students succeed. As society and education is continually changing, I plan to continue working to cultivate schools that are safe, inclusive and innovative to meet the learning needs of all Delta residents today and in the future. I will continue to advocate for the priority of funding to be focused on student success.
3. The Delta school board has been able to bring additional per-pupil funding and revenues by attracting out-of-district students to Delta’s specialty academies. Should these programs be made free for Delta residents without having to apply for special exemptions?
As there are extra costs associated with our academies, students who can afford to meet these costs are encouraged to do so, however there are scholarships available and as with all our extra events, our plan is to never see a student excluded because of financial constraints.
4. The district has seen steady increases in the number of students from other countries in the International Student Program. By 2016/17 revenue climbed to just over $10 million. Part of that money has now gone into offsetting budget deficits. Do you support using those revenues for the operating budget and, if not, where should those monies be targeted?
It is truly unfortunate that school boards have become dependent on international funding to balance their tight budgets. International exchange benefits all students as they interact with peers from many different cultures. I would prefer that funds generated from this program be used for value added programs, such as playgrounds, tracks, and cultural programs, many of which have been cut or reduced due to funding restraints.
5. The school board is proposing to work out a land deal with the City of Delta to build a new track facility in North Delta. Many other schools in the district will still be without upgraded tracks. Do you feel corporate sponsorship may be a possibility or are there other options you believe can be explored?
That's a tricky question. Our goal is to provide all students with the resources to develop fully. We have to start somewhere, and cooperation with the city makes a lot of sense. Priorities have been set and will be continually monitored. As for corporate sponsorship, all the ramifications have to be considered.
6. - As a candidate for trustee, please explain the role of trustee and explain why you among all of these other candidates should be elected to it.
The prime role of a trustee is to ensure that the district is running properly. The first responsibility is to see that all students have the resources they need to be successful. Staff, needs to feel supported and valued and parents need to have access to voice their questions and concerns. Financial management is also a major responsibility of the school board, which is why I continue to advocate for increased funding. My background as a teacher, counselor, pastor, parent and school board trustee gives me a wide background of experience which I find essential to my role as a trustee.