Quebec’s largest public school service centre placed under trusteeship over governance issues

Students try to keep their distance as they enter the Philippe-Labarre Elementary School in Montreal, on Thursday, August 27, 2020. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

The Quebec government has placed the province’s largest public school district under trusteeship.

The province has appointed Jean-François Lachance to oversee the Centre de services scolaire de Montréal and says he will make “urgent administrative decisions” and support management.

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The move came into effect on Wednesday for an initial period of six months, with the trustee set to provide a monthly progress report to the government.

In January, Quebec looked into allegations of ethical breaches within the district’s board of directors and allegations of a dysfunctional relationship between administration and the board.

In April, it was determined a trustee would be needed, and the Education Department says the primary objective is to ensure a fully functional start to the 2021-22 school year.

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The centre, which manages 189 schools and 115,018 students, declined to comment on the province’s decision.

Service centres are the new structure that replaced school boards, which were abolished by the Legault government last year.

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