Last Monday, August 26, 2013, was the sixth time over the past 15 years, the Lester B. Pearson School Board Council of Commissioners, refused to hear any talk to withdraw its membership from the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA), thus saving a minimum of about $350,000 to invest in the Board’s schools.
I asked the board to seriously consider holding a public debate, followed by a referendum, on the issue of our membership to the QESBA, whose main preoccupation, it seems, is to sound important at committees, conferences, conventions and “congresses” throughout North America. In reality, though, the QESBA, a member of theCanadian School Boards Association (CSBA), is irrelevant in today’s high-tech world.
There is a realization across Canada that anachronistic provincial and national association are nothing more than feeders at the public coffers, whose minimal value to the public good is hugely outweighed by their cost to the fed-up taxpayer.
Ironically, on its homepage, the CSBA states that commissioners expressed concern, at their July “congress” regarding “a worrisome trend by provincial governments bypassing” school-board associations, in delivering education.
Recently, the chairperson of the Marguerite Bourgeoys school board, Diane Lamarche-Venne, ditched its association with its provincial association, reportedly saying: “It’s very important to show taxpayers that we are responsible.”
Why should our education tax dollars go toward globetrotting commissioners to have a good time at posh hotels, which are of no economic, cultural or pedagogical value to any Pearson classroom ?
The abuse of the education tax dollar by school commissioners, spendthrift boards, and self-aggrandizing provincial associations, marked by a culture of self-entitlement, displayed at their conventions and conferences, must end
The Pearson board should demonstrate some leadership: have a public debate and take a vote on the issue. That’s democracy.