Canadian School Boards Association Statement on Proposed Quebec Legislation Bill 86

MONTREAL, Feb. 16, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian School Boards Association represents public school boards across the country.  The collective experience of two centuries with this model of governance has been positive for the country and the undeniable success of the Canadian education system on the international stage is the best indication that this system works.  

The educational landscape in Canada has changed; through shifting community and parental expectations, differing government priorities and a reasonable public asking for more accountability, school boards have successfully adapted, evolved and continued to search for ways to improve their community schools.  Today, the vast majority of school boards in Quebec and across Canada govern responsibly, are accountable to their communities and have an important, positive impact on the schools they govern.

Each Canadian school board represents an entire community.  Each community and its students have unique needs and through their engagement, boards understand and are responsive to those needs.  Most significantly, extensive research has shown that public engagement in the school system increases student achievement.

As such, in the interest of public engagement, a pillar of Canadian democracy and a significant contributor to student achievement, well-being and success – CSBA strongly encourages the Quebec government to consider the following.

  1. That the six community Council members, positions outlined in Bill 86, be elected by and from their communities.  The right of the greater public to influence education in Canada and thus, our future society, must be respected.  While maintaining democracy is often challenging and difficult, the right of the people, and how they exercise their right to vote, must be respected.   The level of accountability and responsibility of holding an elected position is significant, all the more important in such a vital social endeavor as our public education system. 

  2. That for elected Council members in Quebec, in order to increase efficiency and to ensure greater ease and participation for and by the electorate, elections be held in conjunction with the municipal elections or managed online as is the case across the country.

  3. That good governance is demonstrated in the mutual and respectful acknowledgment of roles and responsibilities of all participants, and as such, in the interest Quebec's children going forward:
    • School Councils are to be considered leaders and valued partners in delivering quality education
    • Collaboration, communication and consultation with Councils becomes a priority of the Ministry of Education
    • Due to the understanding of their community needs and their knowledge of the local, provincial and national issues in education, Councils have an inherent right to govern, manage schools and develop the "Plan for Success" for their own communities.

We are confident these matters can be addressed in the best interest of all Quebec students.

Respectfully Submitted,
Janet Foord, President, Canadian School Boards Association

SOURCE Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA)

For further information: Valerie McLeod, Executive Director, Canadian School Boards Association,, 514-241-2191

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