Parents in authority

Gazette Vaudreuil-Soulanges

February 26, 2014

Compliments to former Minister of Education Michelle Courchesne for her inspirational talk on Feb. 22, webcast from the Pearson board, promoting the upcoming November 2014 school board elections.

Her presentation referred to features of her parent-friendly Bill 88, Gouvernance et de la démocratie scolaire which became law in the autumn of 2008.

The law was created due to a pathetic voter turnout (7% French; 14% English) in the 2007 school board elections, when about 70 per cent of the seats in the province were acclaimed.

Basically, the law called for the modernization of school board democracy. It would shrink the power of school boards and make the administrative bodies more accessible and more accountable to parents.

The bill considers more parental involvement and governing board power in their dealings with the school board.

In fact, the law declares a more significant parental influence, not only at the school governing board , but also, justly provides for a greater number of parents’ representatives at the school board level.

Law aside, I found Madame Courchesne’s remarks to be most telling. She said “school boards should accept criticism,” and should listen because it is a “sign of respect.”

She concluded: “parents are the authority.”

Precisely !

Chris Eustace