Montreal

Sébastien Proulx needs to slam brakes on Bill 86, say Anglo educators

Quebec Education Minister Sébastien Proulx should slam the brakes on the government’s proposed school board reform before the bill damages English schools, an association of public educators said Wednesday.

QESBA says education minister would be better off amending existing legislation

Education Minister Sebastien Proulx is the third minister to attempt to shepherd Bill 86 through the legislative process. (CBC)

Quebec Education Minister Sébastien Proulx should slam the brakes on the government's proposed school board reform before the bill damages English schools, an association of public educators said Wednesday.

The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) told a legislative hearing in Quebec City that Proulx needs to sit down with Anglo groups as soon as possible. It wants Proulx to make changes to existing legislation, rather than push ahead with Bill B6.

If passed, the bill will eliminate school board elections. QESBA and other Anglo education groups fear this will lead to the anglophone community losing control of English schools. 

Compared to its French counterparts, English school boards have relatively high turnout rates for elections. English education groups also claim their drop-out rates are lower, and graduation rates are higher. 

"The English‐speaking community is proud of its 85 per cent success rate," QESBA president Jennifer Maccarone said ahead of her appearance before the legislative committee. 

"We have always been open to change and discussion with successive governments," she added.

"Those changes must benefit student success, schools, and communities. This bill will not improve any of those priorities, and actually, will only negatively impact our students' success, our schools, and our communities."

Among the members of legislative committee is Liberal MNA David Birnbaum, who headed the QESBA for a decade before entering politics.

​The committee continues its hearings on Thursday. 

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