Angela Mancini, the chairperson of the English Montreal School Board (EMSB), says she is open to placing the school board under trusteeship following a damning report from the province that found the board’s governance was “dysfunctional.”
“It vacillates between a good idea and a bad idea, but maybe someone with us while we are there, while we are learning from that person, will make a change,” she said.
Mancini broke her silence on Wednesday, nearly one week after the investigation’s findings into allegations of mismanagement at the EMSB came out.
The report, which was commissioned by Education Minister Jean-François Roberge in January, found the government’s interventions have been repeatedly met with reluctance from the EMSB and pointed to a “poor understanding” of the roles of commissioners and managers.
A team of government investigators made a series of suggestions, including a major intervention at Quebec’s largest English-language school board. The other suggestions include placing the EMSB under trusteeship and stripping the council of commissioners of its powers.
In the wake of the report, Roberge said the education ministry is taking the findings seriously and that the province is taking steps to decide what will happen next. He did not rule out trusteeship as a possible solution.
The investigation’s conclusions also specifically mention Mancini as part of an internal conflict plaguing the school board. In January, Mancini’s salary was cut to $10,000 over her prolonged absence from the board. The report, however, states she was voted in and the council cannot demand her departure.
Mancini, for her part, says she has brought up these issues before and she is willing to work to make changes. She believes commissioners have to look at what needs to be improved and that the council needs help to move forward.
“There could be a possibility to learn from this experience,” said Mancini.
WATCH: EMSB on the defensive following scathing government report
— With files from Global News’ Anne Leclair