Request for a Revision of the Education Act and a Return to Elected School Board

Resolution Number: 

2018-06
Resolution

WHEREAS    the Education Act provides for an elected board within the French Language School Board but not the PSB, and

WHEREAS    it was promised by the current Liberal government that an elected school board would be implemented within the PSB, and

WHEREAS    the Education Act has currently bestowed all decision making authority in regard to school matters upon three appointed trustees who answer to Minister of Education, and

WHEREAS    it is a perceived conflict of interest that the Deputy Minister of Education is also the Chair of the appointed board, and

WHEREAS    the current model which includes District Advisory Councils bestows no decision making authority upon parents or community members within local school communities, as members of the DAC’s are in an advisory capacity only, and

WHEREAS    members of the DAC’s would be able to continue on in an advisory role, if so desired, by advising the elected school board trustees, and

WHEREAS    the Charting the Way Final Report of the Education Governance Commission March 2012  provides 48 key recommendations, after extensive research and collaboration with stakeholders across PEI, which includes the recommendation  that “School Districts be governed by elected boards of trustees”, and

WHEREAS    a key determinant of student success is parental and community involvement in school decision making at the local level, and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the PEI Home and School Federation request that the Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture and Cabinet revise the Education Act and designate decision making authority regarding educational matters to an elected Board of School Trustees, one for each Family of Schools, with School Board Elections to coincide with provincial government elections.

Amendments: 

Friendly amendment:

BE IT RESOLVED that the PEI Home and School Federation request that the Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture and Cabinet revise the Education Act and designate decision making authority regarding educational matters to an Elected Board of School Trustees, one for each Family of Schools, with School Board Elections to coincide with provincial government elections.

 

Consideration

Status: 

Passed
Saturday, April 14, 2018

Destination: 

Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture
Public Schools Branch
Responses Received

Responses: 

EDUCATION, EARLY LEARNING AND CULTURE (October 22, 2018):  The Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture believes Islanders must have a strong voice in public educaton in our province. Nearly 200 Islanders are now directly engaged in our education system through the three councils: the members of the 8 DACs, the 62-member Principal Council and the 25-member Learning Partners Advisory Council. DAC members include students, parents and community members who are very connected to their schools and are most able to identify challenges and opportunities in their family of schools.

In the spring of 2016, the Legislature voted unanimously in favour of amendments to the Education Act, which did not include elected boards for the English system. Three trustees were subsequently appointed by the Minister. The three trustees hold a great dept of wisdom and experience in education which informs decision-making that is based on what is best for all students.

The new governance model allows more Islanders to be directly involved in shaping the direction of learning in this province. As indicated when I met with President Thomas to discuss this resolution, while we do not have any plans to make amendments to the Education Act, we continue to review ways in which we can strengthen the current model, including through the provision of greater voice to the District Advisory Councils (DACs) within the confines of the existing legislation. We thank you for and value your input in this regards.