FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 31, 2019
Sherbrooke, ON: As members of Quebec’s francophone school boards gathered at their annual congress, CSBA President Laurie French spoke on the importance of locally elected governing school boards.
“The Canadian School Boards Association was happy to accept the invitation to speak to members of the FCSQ as they face the risk of losing local voices in public education in Quebec,” said Ms. French. “The CSBA supports all school boards in Quebec in calling for the preservation of elected trustees. We believe in governing school boards providing local voices in public education, allowing for local choices in how that education is administered.”
During her presentation Ms. French touched on the political and educational environments in each province across the country. “The experiences of school boards across Canada vary greatly, from a positive, healthy relationship between elected trustees and the Ministry of Education in British Columbia, to the complete dissolution of English-speaking school boards in Nova Scotia. It’s important to look at all the situations and hear from people in those provinces on how public education is working for their students and communities.”
Her presentation included video messages from Paul Wozney, President of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, and Adam Davies, a former school board member in Nova Scotia. Their messages were clear about what has been lost there with advice – if you are faced with losing your governing school board, do whatever you can to stop it.
“The messages from Mr. Wozney and Mr. Davies in Nova Scotia really resonated with members of the FCSQ because it brought to light the realities of what happens when school boards are eliminated,” said Alain Fortier, President of FCSQ. “It has been a year since the Nova Scotia government dissolved boards, and from what we hear, communication among all education partners has continued to deteriorate, ultimately hurting students and communities.”
The CSBA is committed to working with provincial associations, regional school boards, and other education partners to support a healthy and responsive public education for all students. “We are not against change,” said Ms. French. “But we do believe in collaboration, and that there is room for multiple voices to be involved, especially the local voices of governing school boards providing the local voice and regional accountability.”
The Canadian School Boards Association represents governing school board members from across the country through their provincial associations. CSBA and its members champion collaboration and innovation in public education.
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