Coast Mountains SD asks province to rescind Bill 11

Letter from the Board of Education of Coast Mountains School District 82 to the Minister of Education Peter Fassbender re: Bill 11.

Dear Minister Fassbender:

RE: Bill 11: Education Statutes Amendment Act, 2015

 

The Board of Education of Coast Mountains School District 82 at its Regular (Public) Board Meeting held on May 13, 2015, unanimously passed the following motion:

“That the Board ask the Provincial Government to Rescind Bill 11 and have consultations on the issues covered in Bill 11.”

Coast Mountains Board of Education wishes to express its concerns with regard to the proposed Bill 11: Education Statutes Amendment Act, 2015 and the potential impact on its students and students across the province.

In support of the motions passed at the 2015 BC School Trustees Association (BCSTA) Annual General Meeting with regard to Bill 11 and the subsequent letter of April 20, 2015 from BCSTA President Teresa Rezansoff, the Coast Mountains Board of Education echoes the BCSTA in demanding an immediate review of the intent of Bill 11 legislation.

We are alarmed that this bill erodes the autonomy and authority of locally and democratically elected Boards of Education, giving the Minister of Education an unprecedented influence over them. The Coast Mountains Board of Education is committed to continue exercising its fiduciary responsibilities to the highest standards possible to ensure an excellent public education for its students.

We believe local Boards of Education can provide valuable input into how the Ministry of Education can best achieve its goals in terms of shared services, professional development, accountability, student data collection, and achievement.

Further, we were surprised and dismayed when Bill 11 was announced, without any consultation with BCSTA or local Boards of Education, as outlined in the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding with the BCSTA and the Ministry of Education supporting a co-governance model. These actions certainly do not demonstrate good faith to the co-governance model and the Memorandum of Understanding. We support an open, transparent and collaborative working relationship between the Ministry of Education and the BCSTA in the spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding.

The Coast Mountains Board of Education strongly and respectfully requests the rescindment of Bill 11 in its entirety. We ask that new legislation be reworked and rewritten in full consultation with BCSTA and local Boards of Education in an open, meaningful and collaborative dialogue demonstrating effective and robust co-governance in the development of related regulations and strategies to better support all learners and their future as we transition into the 21st Century.

Yours sincerely,

Art Erasmus

Chair, Board of Education

 

cc: Honourable Christy Clark, Premier, Province of British Columbia

Dave Byng, Deputy Minister of Education

All Boards of Education (via BCSTA)

Robin Austin, MLA Skeena

Doug Donaldson, MLA Stikine

Local Media

Coast Mountains Board of Education School District 82:

– Board of Education School Trustees

– Katherine McIntosh, Superintendent of Schools

– Alanna Cameron, Secretary Treasurer

– CMSD82 Partners:

– Coast Mountains Administrators’ Association

– Coast Mountain Teachers’ Federation

– CUPE Local 2052

– District Parent Advisory Council

– First Nations Education Coordinators

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