Effective Governance Sets the Conditions for Student Success

    TORONTO, April 22 /CNW/ - The Ontario Public School Boards' Association
(OPSBA) welcomed the Ministry of Education's initiative, Modernization of
School Board Governance. Through the Association public school trustees across
the province were actively engaged in contributing to the deliberations of the
Minister's Governance Review Committee. OPSBA is pleased that many of the
Association's recommendations are incorporated into the report School Board
Governance: A focus on Achievement. The report affirms the importance of
school boards as an effective and vital level of governance for promoting
democracy and civic engagement at the local level.
    There is deep consensus among OPSBA's member boards that setting the
conditions that will provide a high quality education for every student to
succeed in school and in life is the absolute first priority of a school
board. It is why trustees, without exception, run for office. Optimum
conditions for successful learning and teaching environments are all about
partnership and support. Our Member Boards want to see that openness to
partnership and meaningful collaboration continue to be the hallmark of the
relationship between school boards and the Ministry of Education.
    "School boards are the embodiment of local governance in action," said
Colleen Schenk, president of OPSBA. "Effective governance relies on a clear
understanding of roles and responsibilities."
    The School Board Governance: A focus on Achievement report provides
greater clarity around each partner's respective roles, responsibilities and
accountabilities - those of the Ministry of Education, the School Board,
Trustees, and the Director of Education. Efforts to share and promote this
information broadly, with other municipal jurisdictions, with other levels of
government, and with the public at large will be beneficial to strengthening
collaboration and enhancing public confidence in public education.
    OPSBA emphasizes the importance of recognizing that a trustee position is
an elected position and that trustees are accountable to their electorate. The
democratic process gives the electorate the opportunity to decide at election
time its support for the effectiveness of a trustee. This is a vital aspect of
the relationship between trustees and their communities.
    OPSBA is conducting a thorough analysis of the Ministry's report. We look
forward to participating in the consultation process regarding the Provincial
Interest Regulations. Support from the Ministry is most appreciated when it is
offered and carried out in a collaborative manner that respects boards'
cultures and knowledge of their local circumstances.
    Public education is a shared responsibility. OPSBA looks forward to
partnerships that engage all levels of government, the business community and
the citizens of this province to foster those conditions which promote student
    This report confirms that trustees perform a vital job in their
communities, engaging in work that influences the readiness of the next
generation to make successful contributions to a civil and prosperous society.
OPSBA will welcome support from the Ministry that strengthens the capacity of
trustees to fulfil this role in an increasingly complex environment.

For further information:

For further information: Jeff Sprang, Communications, (416) 340-2540

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