It would be very difficult to find as much ink spilled on a school board’s Code of Ethics for Commissioners than the Lester B. Pearson School Board. The reason for that is because the Pearson Board believes it’s above the Quebec Education Act.
Let’s look at the most fundamental principle of the Education Act – Article 177.1., which deals basically with where the loyalties of a commissioner should lie….
177.1. The members of the council of commissioners must act within the scope of the functions and powers conferred on them, and exercise the care, prudence and diligence that a reasonable person would exercise in similar circumstances; they must also act with honesty and loyalty and in the interest of the school board and the population served by the school board. (my bold)
For years the Code of Ethics of Pearson read “Commissioners must, at all times, act in the Board’s best interest” ….not the population, not the constituents, not the children, not the students….
Anyway, in late 2007, there was a consultation regarding a by-law of the Code of Ethics. The first three links below tell the story. Note, in particular, the third one by the Central Parent Committee.
Finally, many months later, on Sept. 23, 2008 @ 2:05 am, I was sent the following “Preamble , ” which now appeared, and still appears, in the new LBPSB Code of Ethics :
The primary role of a Commissioner is to ensure that a quality public education
program is available taking into consideration the best interests of the school board
as a whole and its students and the local constituency he/she represents.
The Pre- K fiasco
Let’s look at another issue that was going on at the same time : the diversion of $100,000’s from the regular operating budget to create Pre-Kindergarten classes. Of course, all this was not right nor ethical and totally illegal.
Chapter 1, Division 1 , Rule 1 of the Education Act says: ” The age of admission to preschool education is 5 years on.…” , not 4 ….
There was a petition, letters and more letters to the Editors complaining about this state . This communiqué from the Dorval community pre schools and Sector 1 of the LBPSB Parents Committee outlined the situation
Years later, on Feb. 27, 2012 , the whole Pre-K thing collapsed. Watch the webcast Council meeting of that day starting at the 170-minute mark . The item was not on the Agenda but the entire National Assembly had been notified earlier in the morning.
Thank Heaven for the government, which finally put an end to this practise, which a byline , in the May 9, 2012 Suburban read : ” LBPSB accused of misusing school taxes. “
More info, in an editorial, by ACDSA.
Bottom line : The board’s accountability is our responsibility….We must use Bill 88 as a tool to truly democratize the LBPSB fiefdom.