On behalf of the Toronto District School Board, I am writing you to request amendments to the Education Act 1990 to better support student trustee governance.
Under the Act, student trustees have the same general responsibilities as trustees, including representing the interests of the entire community, while also providing their perspectives to ensure that the students of the future will be served well. The TDSB has two elected student trustees, in addition to an Indigenous student trustee, who is selected by the Indigenous Youth Council.
As representatives of the Board, student trustees play an important role in empowering and promoting student voice and engagement across the system. Student trustees have the right to partake in certain in-camera sessions closed to the public, demonstrating the high standing and trustworthiness of student trustees; receive equal opportunities to Board trustees, including access to professional development, resources and training; and have the right to abstain from voting.
They should also be able to begin discussions surrounding items that they feel pertain most to their constituency without the need to request support from trustee colleagues. Student voice is most effectively communicated by granting student trustees equal opportunities to participate in Board functions as other Board trustees.
Therefore, I am requesting that the Education Act 1990 be amended to allow student trustees the right to independently move and second motions for consideration by the Board and allow student trustees to be counted toward quorum at meetings of the Board.
As always, I am available at your earliest convenience to discuss this further.
Chair, Toronto District School Board
Cc: Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, Ontario Student Trustees’ Association (OSTA-AECO) and Members of Provincial Parliament representing Toronto ridings.