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Education

Internal fighting continues at the English Montreal School Board

WATCH: The EMSB has the highest graduation rate in the Province, yet those who run the board are at odds. Six commissioners have asked the Quebec Government to appoint an observer to oversee how the board is run. As Global's Tim Sargeant explains, these commissioners still want chairperson Angela Mancini to resign.

The name calling and internal fighting of English Montreal School Board (EMSB) commissioners continues to be played out in public.

Vice Chairperson Joe Ortona and five other commissioners held a news conference Friday afternoon to denounce the leadership of chairperson Angela Mancini and her supporters.

“Refusing to take any responsibility but quick to place the blame on others,” he said.

But at the same time, Ortona says he wants to end the internal conflicts and the impasse of the board.

He’s calling for the education minister to appoint an independent observer to oversee the EMSB’s operations and make recommendations to improve how the board functions.

“We’re willing to do whatever it takes to make this work,” Ortona said.

Having an outside observer is perhaps one area where Ortona and Mancini agree.

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Mancini said that an outsider’s presence would be helpful.

READ MORE: Blistering report from Quebec government slams EMSB’s ‘dysfunctional’ governance

Despite internal conflicts among the board’s commissioners, they have had some major successes.

Commissioners say they’ve eliminated a $11 million deficit since 2007 and now run annual surpluses.

The board is also boasting the high academic achievements of its students.

They have a 92.4 per cent graduation rate between 2011 and 2018 — the most successful graduation of all school boards in the province.

Perhaps a much needed distraction among all the internal issues.

“This 92.4 percent success rate is just the sort of good news that we all needed to hear,” Ann Marie Matheson, the EMSB Director General stated from the steps of the EMSB head office while employees watched on.

READ MORE: After damning report, EMSB chair open to placing school board under trusteeship

School board elections are set for November 2020 but that’s only if the board isn’t put under trusteeship as the Education Minister is threatening to do or if the school board (and that of all others in Quebec) isn’t dissolved and replaced by service centres as planned by the government.

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