In February 2020, the CAQ government pushed through Bill 40, which abolished school boards and replaced them with “school service centres” with much less authority and fewer decision-making powers. Convinced that this reform is unconstitutional and would be detrimental to the English school system, the QESBA challenged Bill 40 in the courts and obtained an injunction suspending its application. The Superior Court of Québec has now issued a ruling, very favourable to English school boards.

Independent, autonomous English school boards are critical to the vitality of the English-speaking community of Québec

  • The English school system has a student success rate 5% better than the Québec average
  • School boards appoint principals, hire teachers and determine programs in their schools
  • School boards are sensitive to keeping small schools open in more isolated English-speaking communities across the province
  • Many English school boards used their autonomy to install air purifiers in classrooms without mechanical ventilation during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite determined opposition from the government of Québec
  • Believing diversity is an asset, not a threat, school boards are involved in the legal challenge to Bill 21, Québec’s secularism law, which prevents them from hiring teachers who wear religious symbols

These elements are examples of the risks of the government of Québec’s attempts to centralize decision making in Québec City in Bill 40 and the recent Bill 23.

The QESBA and its member school boards have largely borne the cost of the legal challenge to this power grab. With a complete appeal of Bill 40 by the government underway, we need your support to ensure that the constitutional rights of English-speaking Quebecers are respected and that school boards continue to exist.