Monday, November 18, 2013

Local Politics

Besler Bang On with Business Bucks

Money for a cash-strapped school system

Released by Collin Rogers for SB Candidate Ben Besler


n a release to local media on Monday, School Trustee by-election candidate Ben Besler clarified his position on accepting business funding in Chilliwack Public Schools and challenged his opponents to do the same.

“I believe we should look for opportunities to expand on current business partnerships to further enhance our local school programs. Even if the Province drastically increases funding for public schools, we’ll only keep pace with other school districts. If local businesses want to help our schools offer more choices and higher quality education, we should welcome them with open arms. I am in full support of School District Policy 907 and Administrative Resolution 907.1 which sets out reasonable parameters for businesses to enhance public education in the school district.”

Besler called on his opponents to clarify their views on this important topic, “Some of my opponents appear to be suggesting a drastic change of course for School District #33. The zero-tolerance approach toward business funding in our school district suggested by both Dan Coulter and Karen Jarvis on November 13 would severely limit the options available to our teachers to provide extracurricular programs for students.”

Besler was referring to remarks made by candidates Dan Coulter and Karen Jarvis who stated at an all candidates meeting that they were opposed to any business funding of school district programs.

Dan Coulter stated he is against any form of private funding in schools, “Public education is public, it’s a government service,” stated Coulter.

Jarvis also stated her opposition to businesses funding even extracurricular activities saying “my kids are not race-car drivers…” in response to whether businesses should be recognized in any way for their contributions.

Besler cited a couple of current examples of businesses supporting local schools and being recognized for their sponsorship. “Would Coulter and Jarvis shut down these programs?” asked Besler.

GW Graham Grizzlies football team produced t-shirts with sponsor logos on the back. Businesses on last year’s t-shirt included Mertin GM and over a dozen other local businesses and organizations. Sponsors are listed on the team’s website

GW Graham is currently selling raffle tickets to raise funds for graduation programs. Sponsors for the raffle include Murray Honda and at least a dozen other Chilliwack businesses featured on posters displayed around Chilliwack.

“Endangering sports teams and graduation celebrations would be bad enough,” warns Besler, “but Coulter’s extreme views could cancel breakfast programs that are supported by local businesses like Hofstede’s Country Barn, Cobs Bread, and Vedder Mountain View Bakery.” (see Chilliwack News November-2013 for more information).

Besler would welcome continued and expanded partnerships with businesses and other organizations to enhance student opportunities. “Small business is at the center of Chilliwack’s economy and I’m proud our local business community wishes to play an active role in our schools.”

More information

Chilliwack School Board’s policy on Education, Business, and Community Partnerships can be found here.

The related Administrative Regulation can be found here.

More information (including bio) about Ben Besler and his campaign for School Trustee can be found at or via email here or phone Ben at 604-991-8094


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