Coast Mountains School District pushes back against Bill 11

The board is joining other districts across B.C. in calling on the government to rescind recently-passed education omnibus legislation

The Coast Mountains School District board is joining other districts across the province in calling on the government to rescind recently-passed education omnibus legislation.

Bill 11, the Education Statutes Amendment Act, was introduced in the legislature in March by education minister Peter Fassbender. It details a wide-ranging overhaul to the provincial education system that includes changes to teacher professional development and an expanded ministry mandate. That expanded mandate gives the ministry more authority over district boards, allowing the province to override board decisions as well as designate specific service providers to boards for shared education services.

The ministry says the legislation will “help school districts reduce overhead costs, establish a modern framework for teacher professional development, and put a stronger focus on accountability for student outcomes.”

But teachers, parent advisory councils, and school boards have been crying foul – and the Coast Mountains board is the latest board to join in.

“As all of you know, since the Bill 11 was introduced, it is not in favour of anybody – it is undermining the trustees, it is undermining the education system,” said Kitimat trustee Raymond Raj at last night’s regular school board meeting. “When you talk to anybody, nobody is happy with Bill 11 – so why are you proceeding with it?”

Raj’s motion to tell the province to “rescind the bill, have consultation on all of the issues there, and then have a proper bill” passed with unanimous support from all of the trustees present. Terrace trustee Roger Leclerc was not present, nor was Kitimat trustee Margaret Warcup.

Board chair Art Erasmus said the board would word a letter to the ministry similar to those sent by other districts.

And Raj encouraged parents and parent advisory councils to write letters as well, noting the Kildala school parent advisory council in Kitimat sent a letter in April.

“Ask your parent advisory councils to write a letter to the minister. Right now the way it is going they don’t care about the trustees, they don’t care about the teachers, they don’t care about students,” said Raj. “But the parents hold the power. If all of the parents start writing letters and tell the government that this bill is no good, they might backtrack.”

The introduction of this bill was one of a number of major education reforms the government introduced to the surprise of trustees and the BC School Trustee Association (BCSTA) – something that was highlighted at a recent trustee association meeting Erasmus attended.

“Out of the whole trustee academy, the one thing that really stuck out for me was the three motions that dealt with the government going to the public with their issues without consulting the BCSTA,” said Erasmus. “The BCSTA had just signed a letter prior to that that the government would consult with them, and they haven’t done it.”

 

Just Posted

Kitsumkalum Walk for Health raises $17,500 for new hospital microscope

The 5 km walk is a new take on a 10-year old fundraiser for Mills Memorial

PHOTO GALLERY: Malicous Monster Truck Tour

The Malicious Monster Truck Tour sold out to crowds of 2,500 people… Continue reading

CMTN First Nations Fine Arts program offers new advanced diploma

The 10-month program will focus on enhancing jewellery, sculpture and marketing skills

Terrace spawns new salmon art festival

This week’s featured artist: Casey Braam

Back in business: former Sears franchisees go it alone

Boota and Diljit Uppal’s new store opens in same location

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Evacuation alert issued due to Dog Creek Trail Wildfire

An evacuation alert has been issued by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako… Continue reading

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

City orders largest Kinder Morgan protest camp to leave

Residents of Camp Cloud near the Trans Mountain work site have 72 hours to leave

Most Read