Public school board secretive, critics charge
A parents group says Calgary public school trustees do too much of their business behind closed doors.
Association for Responsive Trusteeship spokesman Larry Leach said he understands that legal matters have to be held in camera.
But he said the Calgary Board of Education spent close to 27 hours in open discussions and about 22 in private last year.
"It's a bad trend to get into," he said.
And Leach said he’s concerned that many decisions regarding the expensive new CBE headquarters at Eighth Street and 12th Avenue S.W. were not made in public.
"Either they talked a lot about it in private or they weren't informed at all through the process as trustees. And as they are publicly elected keepers of the purse, both are a little bit distressing," he said.
But Pat Cochrane, chair of the public board, said the CBE holds in camera meetings in accordance with the rules of the Alberta School Act and privacy guidelines.
Carol Bazinet, a trustee for seven years, said the board looks closely at what items are talked about in closed meetings.
"At the beginning of each private meeting we have to vote, you know, on the agenda. And there have been times that I have voted against putting certain subjects in private meetings, yes," she said.