QUEBEC CITY – Quebec English school boards have been calling for the government to scrap Bill 86 after it was introduced in the National Assembly late last year, going as far as to say they are ready to challenge the legislation in court if it is passed.
Wednesday marked the last day of the National Assembly hearings on the bill.
Groups in favour and opposed to school board reform are holding their breath while Education Minister Sébastien Proulx makes his decision.
Proulx said he needs time to reflect on weeks of hearings, dozens of witnesses and nearly 100 briefs.
The government’s plan to get rid of school board commissioners and scale back school board elections has outraged many in the English-speaking community.
Members of several anglophone communities have testified over the last month, highlighting a higher graduation rate than in French schools and stressing that an overhaul of the governing structure would interfere with student learning.
READ MORE: QESBA ‘optimistic’ after Bill 86 hearings
However, the federation representing French and some English parent committees is pushing for the government to adopt the bill with minor modifications.
“It’s not just elections every four years, it’s what happens every day in our schools,” said Corinne Payne with the Fédération des comités de parents du Québec.
“If we make the decisions closer to our students, that can only help them in the long-run.”
“For the first time, parents will be able to actually get real decision-making power within a school board,” added Andrew Ross, an English Montreal School Board parent commissioner.