One school board would make a mockery of parent input

By Submitted

January 24, 2017 8:39 AM

Letter to the editor

Dear editor:

My concerns regarding the Ministry of Education’s wanting to amalgamate school boards, into larger boards and/or one mega school board, really hits the heart.
I can see a whole lot of reasons why this idea would fail educators, parents and students. 
Lloydminster Public and Catholic school boards would suffer dramatically from these shifts. 
The infrastructure would look different and yet I do know the quality of education would continue from teacher and staff dedication. 
However, the losses would remain enormous for Lloydminster with job losses, skilled and expertise persons may be of less value and the heartbeat of our unique community will be missed.
First off, creating mega school boards or one super provincial school board will make a mockery of parent input and community priorities.
Decisions made by appointed board members, in this scenario, cannot possibly be connected to the communities they serve fuelling increased alienation.
Second, more attention will be given to the larger boards and/or urban centres at the expense of smaller communities. 
Higher paying jobs will be clustered in one region vs. spread throughout the province creating negative impacts to the other communities.
Local school boards and board members know their parents, students and teachers, their issues, daily challenges and listen to parents’ voices who advocate for their children.
Third, present superintendents and principals become site managers and office managers.
Saying that, does it mean these positions need to be filled by those with an MBA rather than leadership in education? 
Or writers of curriculum?
I am thinking perhaps Minister Don Morgan and the ministry should really take the responsibility on their shoulders and be the school board.
Fourth, larger territorial areas,  as Northern Lights #113, has surface mass the size of Texas and serves many communities in this region and at times requiring flight service. 
Perhaps the minister may organize himself towards chartered flights across the province.  Northern regions would be more severely impacted than now. 
An example may be La Loche and La Ronge, both communities trying to save their children’s survival rate and add on educational flow, I fail to see or understand how this will possibly work to serve those communities as we have failed them on multiple levels.
Fifth, there is without comment from the ministry regarding public boards with Catholic boards or Francophone boards as we have in Lloydminster.
In the meantime, parents may consider alternative education, including home schooling that will reduce the number of children in our public systems.
Lloydminster, speak out with a clear voice for the direction and future of your children’s educational paths; our current seamless education system has served us well for decades and will continue to do so should you choose.
I cherish our local superintendents, resource staff, teachers and want the best for the kids.  Kids matter and as adults we need to be their voices and advocate for their needs. 
Dawn Ehodd
Lloydminster

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