Jason Spratt said he’ll bring his skills as a concerned parent to the Board of Trustees of Rocky View Schools (RVS) if he is successful in gaining one of three seats for Airdrie in the upcoming election Oct. 16.
“I come from a skill set of a concerned parent who has fought hard for his kids over the last few years and I’m ready to start fighting for the kids in RVS to make sure they get the best and what they deserve, that the policies set forth are being followed to the best of their abilities,” he said.
Spratt is facing off against four other candidates for the three available spots, including incumbent trustee Todd Brand.
“When I had the time to get involved, I started joining parent council and started going to the board meetings every other Thursday to see what was going on. I was having problems with my kids in school and I figured it was time I either stood up and participated or stopped having issues,” he said.
Increasing costs for transportation is the issue Spratt said he felt was the most pressing for RVS.
“The budget just isn’t going to be able to cover it in the upcoming years. It was mentioned again as the top line item at the first parent council meeting I went to this year,” he said.
RVS is struggling to fund transportation as a result of the provincial government’s introduction of Bill 1: A Bill to Reduce School Fees, announced March 2. School boards are no longer allowed to charge busing fees for students who live 2.4 kilometres or greater from their designated school.
For a school division such as RVS, which has significant rural representation, the bill has a big impact on revenues.
Spratt said mental health was another issue he feels needs to be addressed in the schools.
“Making sure the students are taken care of both physically and mentally so they can do their best while attending school (is important),” he said.
Spratt has been a resident of Airdrie since 2003. His kids were born and raised in Airdrie and went through the RVS system.
“I think people should vote for me because I’m like them. I saw a need, I started going out and researching and attending as many meetings as I could to understand what the position entailed, what was being done,” he said. “I believe that because I don’t have a background in education, I come at it with some unique points of view.”