Letter to the editor 3, Nov. 2, 2017

The management of school board properties

Dear Editor,

With the upcoming municipal elections, the subject of the management of school board properties was raised at the Lester B. Pearson school board council meeting held on October 30, 2017.

Presently, school boards and municipalities operate in a parallel manner, and that is not the most efficient way of doing things. At times there is an unnecessary, costly duplication of services.

Consider: most schools are generally in operation 200 days of the year; auditoriums, libraries and gymnasia are underused. Due to school holidays, facilities are often shut down.

However, municipalities are open year round, and are more in tune as to what is happening in their communities.

Besides the little coordination in the sharing of sports facilities, there is none when it comes to closing schools or building a school.

There should be greater city/municipal involvement in our public school system, a practice that exists in some cities and municipalities in the United States and France.

The elimination of an extra layer of administrative expenses may very well serve for some much-needed tax relief. More money could be invested in our classrooms, our schools.

Indeed, there should be a stronger partnership between schools and municipalities in managing buildings, in spite of the opposition by the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA), which is always looking for relevance

No question, there are clear advantages, a synergy of sorts, with the merging of services between cities and school boards.

The Quebec government should look into this issue to add to its forward-looking vision of school board reform, which would benefit students and the community.

Chris Eustace

Pierrefonds

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