Eustace on Bill 88 – some good, mostly bad.

Christ Eustace is nothing if not prolific.  It’s unfortunate that so much of his negativity clouds the odd gem in his prose.

In his article found here:

http://www.qctonline.com/node/4393

… the gems are his comments on the number of commissioners being reduced (a good thing!) as well as his comments on the opening of executive committee meetings and more.

The suggestion that the Government should drown already overwhelmed principals in more administrative, better centralized services is his ongoing theme – and it’s wrong.

School boards serve a purpose.  They have issues, but they serve a valid purpose.  Pooling services, developing and implementing common policy and sharing of best practices are just a few of the valuable pieces of the school board puzzle.

Bill 88 is reducing the number of commissioners – good.  It is introducing more parent involvement – good.  They don’t have a vote – bad.  It allows for co-opted commissioners – theoretically, people with specific experience that can add value to the council – good – but again, without an actual vote – bad.

Eustace points to universal suffrage to elect the Chair of the board and suggests this is a good thing.  In fact, it is both good and bad – in the case of our school board, the Sir Wilfrid Laurier school board, universal suffrage and twinning these elections with municipalities is going to increase the cost of our elections ten-fold – if not more.  Instead of having perhaps 25 voting stations that need to be manned, suddenly we are going to be holding elections in more than 100 municipalities; many with multiple voting stations.  Who pays to man them?

The major issue that Eustace is completely missing is the Minister’s top-down entrenchment of her own powers into our school boards and virtually into our schools themselves.  You think having a school board may seem out-of-touch?  Just wait until you have the Minister’s lackeys deciding what kind of juice your child should be able to drink.  And where.  And when.  She is way overstepping her bounds, and that is the real travesty behind Bill 88.

Truly,

Steve

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