Quebec plans to hold hearings on proposed school board reforms in November

Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge responds to the opposition during question period Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at the legislature in Quebec City. Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

The Quebec government plans to hold public hearings on its proposed school board reforms starting in November.

In early October, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge tabled Bill 40, which seeks to change the province’s school boards into service centres. Under the legislation, the centres would be administered by a board of directors comprised of parents, community members and staff.

READ MORE: Quebec plans to axe school boards but offers compromise to English institutions

The Coalition Avenir Québec government proposed the hearings to begin on Nov. 4 and run until Nov. 12.

The commission for culture and education is set to hear from several school boards, labour federations, unions, parent committees and grassroots organizations. The province has invited the Quebec English School Board Association and the Marguerite-Bourgeoys School Board, among others, to appear.

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READ MORE: Majority of anglophone Quebecers say axing school boards puts minority language rights at risk — survey

Bill 40, which has been met with criticism, included a compromise for English institutions. Under the proposed legislation, English-language school boards would still retain the right to hold democratic elections, while general elections would be eliminated for the French system.

The Legault government has long contended that eliminating school boards and replacing them with service centres is necessary despite opposition from the English community and school boards themselves.

Roberge, for his part, has claimed the bill will make the province’s public school system more modern and efficient.

Click to play video: 'Québec government moves ahead with its plan to abolish school boards' Québec government moves ahead with its plan to abolish school boards
Québec government moves ahead with its plan to abolish school boards – Oct 1, 2019

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