We join our colleagues and partners at the Manitoba School Boards Association (MSBA) in denouncing the Manitoba government’s plan to abolish school boards.
This legislation is an unacceptable attack on local community-based democracy and will hinder the ability of families to navigate the public education system and support student success and well-being. This is particularly disappointing as we start to turn the corner on a pandemic year in which trustees and education staff across Canada worked extremely hard and collaboratively to ensure students continued to receive world-class education in both the classroom and at home.
Trustees play an important role in publicly funded education. They are the crucial link between the school board and the communities they serve. Trustees are of their community, they live in their community and they advocate for it.
Centralizing this important local voice will remove local decision-making and the voice of parents will be drastically reduced. In all boards, trustees work toward the goals of achieving excellence, ensuring equity, promoting well-being and fostering high levels of public confidence in education.
I strongly urge the Manitoba government to rethink its decision and meet with members of the MSBA to begin a dialogue about a new way forward that ensures continued support of local democracy in public education.
Concerned citizens should check out the MSBA’s excellent Local Voices, Local Choices campaign at mbschoolboards.ca.