Minister's consultation finds consensus among partners - General support for positive change within current school board structures



    QUEBEC CITY, Feb. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Debbie Horrocks, President of Quebec
English School Boards Association (QESBA), is pleased with the consensus found
among all provincial education partners who participated in the two-day forum
on Démocratie et gouvernance called by the Minister of Education, Recreation
and Sports, Michelle Courchesne.
    "These last two days have been proof positive that school boards have a
vital role to play, not only for our students but for all of our Quebec
communities," said Horrocks. "The importance of maintaining a level of locally
elected government isn't even in question after today."
    QESBA deposited a memoir with the Minister in January based on the four
themes established by Mme Courchesne on the governance and democracy of school
boards, namely, the educational, social, cultural and economic role of school
boards in the regions, school board democracy and promotion of school
elections, transparent and rigorous school board administration and
results-based accountability and school board funding and taxation.
    "The English community in Quebec faces different realities and that makes
our school boards and their schools important symbols that speak to our
history and future in this province," Horrocks continued. "We work closely
with and ensure strong relationships with our parents, teachers, in-school
administrators and our Directors General."
    QESBA submitted substantial and real improvements on behalf of the nine
English school boards to the Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports
during the forum. "We've suggested that the equal distribution and equal
access to programs be guaranteed by the maintenance of elected school boards,
and that the Ministry review the number of elected commissioners per school
board.
    "We have also proposed to strengthen our community links by inviting
non-elected representation on our Councils from the municipalities we cover,
from our health and social service institutions, economic development partners
and more important, we have asked for more student involvement.
    "We graduate bilingual students that can build their life and work in
French and in English here in Quebec. The collaboration of our English
education partners during this forum showed us that we are truly working as a
team. As the voice of the nine English school boards in Quebec, QESBA will
continue to work closely with the MELS and our partners to improve our
system," concluded Horrocks.

    For a complete version of the memoir deposited by the Quebec English
School Boards Association please go to www.qesba.qc.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Kim Hamilton, Communications and Special
Projects Coordinator, (514) 919-3894


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