On Thursday March 25, in Question Period, I asked the Premier why he is getitng rid of school boards when they have contributed to much to the improvement of education in Manitoba. My question and the Premier's response are below (from Hansard).
Manitoba Education System
Elimination of Boards and Divisions
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, Manitoba school boards have been an incredible source of new ideas and innovation.
The White Horse Plains school board brought in audio and video links to Hutterite schools. The Seine River School Division piloted Roots of Empathy, to help kids learn empathy, and also Kids at Play: half-day kindergarten, half-day early-childhood education. The Seven Oaks School Division brought in Met schools. And there are many, many more examples.
Why is the Premier getting rid of school boards when they've done so well at listening to parents, at considering local needs and in bringing in new advances to education in our province?
Hon. Brian Pallister (Premier): Madam Speaker, school boards and the work they've done are well respected and appreciated by, I hope, all members of this House.
But, Madam Speaker, they're comprised–school boards are comprised of individuals, and individuals who care deeply about education. And I would suggest to the member that that caring won't stop with a reform that moves resources to the front line.
And what the member is also failing to recognize in this is the innovative and skilled and dedicated and caring approach that's taken by classroom teachers across this province, across the length and breadth of this province.
If we can strengthen the role of classroom teachers in supporting children in this province, Madam Speaker, after years of the NDP strengthening the top of the system, let's get the money to the classroom where it'll help our children.
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