Letter to the editor 2, April 2, 2015
Due to declining enrollment caused by parents choosing French or private schools for their children, the Lester B. Pearson School Board launched a Major School Change consultation, at its Council of Commissioners meeting March 30. This consultation will eventually determine if schools will have new programs, merge, or close. In addition to the launch, Pearson announced the government has allocated a lot of money for boards to conduct an ‘Air Quality Study’ of its schools.
The government wants to ensure all schools are given a clean Bill of Health, so to speak, to optimize conditions for teaching and learning. Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) contributes to absences and poor concentration. Good IAQ is a key factor to the well-being of all, and certainly helps a school in its ‘core mission:’ educating children.
Moreover, in a major turnaround, Chairperson Suanne Stein Day, who had repeatedly said that Governing Boards “don’t have to know everything about their schools,” said that Governing Boards will be told the results of the study. This is a clear indication of what’s to come concerning another major change in thinking by the government: Governing Boards are the ultimate authority regarding their schools.
On another matter regarding a consultation, recall the January Council meeting, when a Community Representative of a Governing Board pointed out that a widely-distributed letter explaining the 2015-2016 Budget Consultation document, was missing 2 per cent, which represents over $5 million. Chairperson Stein Day said she would take the matter “under advisement.”
Not one word was mentioned about the missing $5 million at either the February or March Council meetings. Not one.