Endorsement is just for teachers
Editor: I read Chris Olewinski’s letter regarding the trustee elections (The Times, Oct. 27), and would like to correct a few factual errors.
The Langley Teachers’ Association has been gathering information on all trustee candidates, on behalf of Langley teachers. It is true that we have recently selected candidates — to endorse to LTA/BCTF members only. Our executive committee reviewed past voting records and responses to specific questions, to determine which candidates would be the strongest advocates for public education.
We will provide advice to Langley teachers and BCTF members living in Langley, on that basis. This is not a public campaign, and we are not funding the trustees we have endorsed — they are all self-funded.
We do not pretend to control any candidates or trustees, nor, more importantly, would we want that to be the public or personal perception of any endorsed candidate. We do want to foster a good working relationship with all trustees, and ensure that the perspective and voice of teachers, the largest employee group affected by board decisions, is heard.
All trustees should remain independent, prior to and following their successful elections, and capable of thinking for themselves. This includes critically engaging with all recommendations that come before them, regardless of the group presenting.
It is a fact that the candidates we have endorsed have not formed a slate. I would also make an educated guess that they are not even all known to one another. Our selection was independent and not based on any personal or private affiliations.
All candidates in this election are supported and/or endorsed by various people and groups.
It might be prudent to remember that even our local MLAs endorsed a group of supposedly independent trustee candidates three years ago and even placed their pictures in an ad in The Times on Nov. 12, 2008, advocating for this group of seven ‘Independents.’ That move was noteworthy.
It is time to stop playing games with perceived notions of ‘independence,’ and focus on what matters — the educational issues that will determine the future educational direction of this district and its students.
Please vote on Nov. 19 for those candidates you feel will actually remain independent and take a strong, independent stand for a quality public education system.
president, Langley Teachers Association