Skip to main content

Why is the Premier replacing 37 school boards with 794 mini school boards (the School Community Councils)?

On  Thursday March  18 in  Question Period, I asked the  Premier about his plans (in Bill  64) to eliminate school boards in Manitoba and to put in place School Community Councils which will be responsible for analyzing student achievement and  learning, for assessing  effectiveness of school programming, for holding the principal accountable and for evaluating the performance of any person employed in the school.  These were functions which were carried out by school boards. The existing school boards will be replaced by 794 School Community Councils (one for each school)  which will function as mini-school  boards.  I asked the Premier why he has chosen this approach when the comments we have heard from  Nova Scotia are that it has not worked well there.   My question and his response  are below (from  Hansard).   You can see  the comments of Wendy Bloomfield, long-time chair of the Seine River School Board on the question - "Will Bill 64 give us 794 mini school boards?" by clicking on this link.

School Community Councils - Replacement of School Boards

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, the Premier has said that the 794 school community councils will be responsible for analyzing student achievement and learning, for assessing effectiveness of school programming, for holding the prin­­cipal accountable and for evaluating the per­formance of any person employed in the school, and other functions.

      These were important functions of school boards previously. The Premier is replacing the current 33 school boards with 794 mini school boards–but, they won't have any formal authority.

      Why is the Premier taking this approach, which was found not to work very well in Nova Scotia?

Hon. Brian Pallister (Premier): Because, Madam Speaker, we like to take approaches here in Manitoba that work, and that's an approach that will work.

      It'll work because we trust the parents, we trust the families. We know they'll get involved, we know they want to be involved in the education of their children, and they'll have more opportunity to do that than ever before with these reforms.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Comparison between Manitoba and South Dakota shows dramatic impact of Physical Distancing

Manitoba implemented physical distancing measures in mid-March.  South Dakota has still not made physical distancing mandatory.   The result is a dramatic difference in the incidence of covid-19 viral infections between the two jurisdictions.   This graph shows the number of people with Covid-19 infections from March 27 to April 14.  Manitoba ( red line )  started leveling off about April 4 and has seen only a small increase in Covid-19 infections since then.   South Dakota ( blue line )   has seen a dramatic increase in Covid-19 infections since April 4.  Those who are skeptical of the impact of physical distancing in Manitoba should look at this graph! Data are from the Johns Hopkins daily tabulations

The hiring of Avis Glaze and what it may mean for the future of school boards in Manitoba

The Pallister government's education review commission has chosen Avis Glaze to be the lead consultant for its review of kindergarted to grade 12 education.   Based on Ms Glaze's recommendation to eliminate school boards in Nova Scotia - which the province has now done - there is concern she may coordinate a similar recommendation in Manitoba.   I asked about this in Question Period earlier today.   My question and the Minister's response is below - from Hansard. K-to-12 Education Review - Manitoba School Boards Hon. Jon -Gerrard - (River Heights):         The government of Manitoba has hired Avis Glaze, a lead consultant for its commissioned review–K-to-12 education. In her report for Nova Scotia, she referred to school boards as undisciplined, fractious, and role-confused entities, representing narrow interests, and she recommended that all school boards be eliminated.  [Nova Scotia has since elminated all school boards.]        Why would the government hire a

Will the Premier get prepared for the fall by improving ventilation in schools as Ontario is doing?

Good evidence now shows that improving ventilation in schools can dramatically reduce  COVID-19 infections.  See this scientific report at this link  Thursday May 27, I asked the Premier whether  he  would be preparing schools for the fall by taking measures to improve ventilation in schools in Manitoba.  My question and his response (from Hansard) are below.  Notwithstanding the Premier's statement that  "some" money may be used for ventilation, there does not appear to be a real plan to increase school ventilation and humidity as a major effort.  COVID‑19 Spread Prevention Ventilation Systems in Schools Hon. Jon  Gerrard  (River Heights):  Mr. Deputy Speaker, improving ventilation in schools decreases transmission of COVID‑19, as I table. We called on the Premier to act on this last fall, but nothing was done. Air dilution methods, opening doors, opening windows and using fans have an effect, but combined with the installation of HEPA filters can reduce COVID‑19 i