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District School Board of Niagara
Policy Board Governance and Administration

A-15 Policy Advocacy and Participation in the Political Process

Date May 2018
Review May 2023

Policy Advocacy and Ministry of Education Liaison

The District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) recognizes the importance of School Board communication with the Ontario government to identify, discuss and find solutions to policy and financial issues.

The DSBN also recognizes that Ontario has an effective education governance structure to ensure there is open and ongoing communication with the province, including partnership tables, regular meetings and other vehicles established by the government.

Financial Expenditures Related to Policy Advocacy

Therefore, the DSBN supports payment of membership dues and fees to appropriate School Board organizations.

The DSBN does not support policy advocacy expenditures for such things as:
i) materials intended to advocate for a particular position for distribution to students (e.g. within report cards) or within DSBN annual reports; and
ii) fees to attend events for specific political parties.

Trustee and Staff Participation in the Political Process

Subject to a Trustee’s or staff’s responsibility under the applicable legislation or Code of Ethics that govern their conduct (e.g. the Ontario College of Teachers, the College of Early Child Educators), the DSBN recognizes and respects that its Trustees and staff are entitled to be engaged in the political process reflecting their own personal beliefs. However, in exercising that right, no Trustee or Staff will express an opinion in any manner that will be construed as if it represents the DSBN. As well, no Trustee or staff may use any DSBN resources to advance their personal political position or use the students as a vehicle to support their personal political position or for DSBN or school advocacy to the public, education partners or government.

During each period preceding the election of School Board Trustees, Election Guidelines will be distributed to Trustees and staff, which guidelines are based on good governance principles and the relevant provisions of the Education Act and Municipal Elections Act and Regulations, in order to ensure the integrity of the non-partisan education provided in the best of interests of the DSBN students.