Mike Murray. (Contributed)

Murray: Achieving success

#MRvotes2018: District anticipates considerable growth over the next several years

Mike Murray, for trustee.

• Occupation:

Trustee and chair of the Board of Education since 2011. Retired in 2010 following 30 years as the general manager of community development, parks and recreation for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

• Political experience/qualifications for running in this election:

I’ve served as a trustee and chair of the board of education since 2011. During that time I’ve authored several submissions to government on behalf of trustees and acted as board liaison to the Ridge Meadows Education Foundation, the Municipal Social Planning Advisory Committee, the Municipal Advisory Committee on Accessibility and Inclusion, the B.C. School Trustees Association and the Parks and Leisure Services Commission.

Recently I was elected to the B.C. School Trustees Association Board of Directors representing the interests of 60 B.C. Boards of Education to the provincial government.

I chair the BCSTA Finance Committee and a working group on capital finance for public education.

I’m a UBC Grad and served as a senior manager in municipal government for over 35 years.

I’ve also been involved with many provincial and local not-for-profit boards.

• Reason for running:

As the only incumbent trustee running in Maple Ridge, I feel the need to provide some continuity to the board’s work. I also want to take full advantage of the knowledge I’ve gained over the past seven years.

Although I’ve served on the board for seven years, and the staff and board have achieved a great deal (like some of the highest grad rates in the province), we still have work to do.

• What do you consider to be the top two issues this election and how would you address them?

Helping all students achieve success in their education and become contributing members of society is our primary focus. That premise must be considered in every decision the board makes and in the priorities it chooses to address.

First, the district anticipates considerable growth over the next several years and we will experience the considerable challenge of ensuring adequate facilities are available to provide positive learning environments for students. We don’t want students placed in portables to the degree they have been in Surrey over the past several years. We just added 22 new classrooms over the summer, will be adding eight new daycare facilities over the next year and are currently building c’esqenele elementary school in Albion which is scheduled to open in 2019.

We will need to purchase additional land and complete other capital work over the next several years to keep up to the needs of our growing student population.

The board recently released a draft of our updated strategic facilities plan, which demonstrates the current level of growth is greater than anticipated a few years ago. Once adopted, that plan will help us make the case to government for additional capital funding.

Secondly, we need the required resources to meet the increasingly diverse needs of our students. We are currently wrestling with government over the formula the Ministry of Education uses to determine how much annual funding to provide to each school district.

To illustrate just one aspect of the problem, our identified special needs students are growing in number. While government provides a specified amount of funding for each student with special needs, it does not cover all of the resources necessary to meet their personalized learning needs.

As a result of lobbying, government has committed to doing a further review of this aspect of our funding.

• Email: mwmurray@shaw.ca; www.mwmurray.ca

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