April 14, 2015

MontrĂ©al, April 15, 2015 – The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) was surprised by the declarations made by the Ministre de l’Éducation, de l’Enseignement supĂ©rieur et de la Recherche (MEESR), François Blais, calling for a major overhaul of school boards even before holding a first meeting with QESBA, a major partner in education.

“This is no way for the new Minister of Education to communicate with us as an important partner”, declared David D’Aoust, President of QESBA. “We have made it clear to Ministry officials that we are prepared to work with them on the future of the education system as long as the result is improvement of services and success rates for our students. Change for change-sake is a waste of time, effort, and money, and does nothing for students.”

In his interview, the Minister made reference to some form of regional authority mixed with municipal involvement replacing locally elected and responsible school boards. He based his decision partly on reports last week of what he considered an inappropriate employee association workshop. “The Minister should know that professional development decisions, according to a Liberal government order-in-council, are taken exclusively and independently by each employee association and are not the result of decisions taken by school boards.”

“Our member boards have made it clear that they are prepared to take all steps necessary to protect and preserve our own school system. We have the right to manage and control our educational institutions and we will not accept some strange hybrid regional entity that impinges on that right. This is not a threat, it is simple statement of fact.

QESBA is scheduled to meet with Education Minister Blais on Friday, in Québec City, and we remain hopeful that these were merely trial balloons and that he will choose to work with QESBA and the Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec, his partners in public education”, concluded D’Aoust.

QESBA is the voice of English public education representing 100,000 students across Québec.