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.