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Not so fast, QESBA tells Quebec’s new education minister

MONTREAL — The Quebec English School Boards Association won’t have a first meeting with the new education minister until Friday, so they were surprised to learn that François Blais is planning a major overhaul of the way school boards are currently elected.

In an interview published in Tuesday’s Journal de Montreal, Blais said that with such a low turn out rate for school board elections.

“It’s time to move on.”

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He added that a new structure, possibly a board of directors composed of teachers and parents, could be put into place to replace the elected school board commissioners.

But QESBA said it sees things differently.

“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.

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“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.”

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QESBA has been working hard to ensure the perenity of English-language school boards in the province.

“Our member boards have made it clear that they are prepared to take all steps necessary to protect and preserve our own school system,” noted D’Aoust, who is also chair of the New Frontiers School Board in the Chateauguay Valley.

“We have the right to manage and control our educational institutions.” 

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In last November’s school board elections held throughout the province, voter turnout increased to 20 per cent in English-language school boards, up from three per cent in 2007.

READ MOREMontreal-area English school board election results

It stagnated at five per cent in the province’s French-language boards.

There are about 100,000 students enrolled in English-language schools across Quebec.