Former heads of school boards want public consultations on decision to consolidate

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Retired school board CEOs say they are concerned the provincial government has appointed a transition team to consolidate the four regional English school boards in the province into one, without any public consultation.

The Retired School Board CEO Action Group believes the transition committee will do little more than rubber stamp what has already been decided.

Members of the action group include: Stan Cole and Walter Cull, Exploits Valley Integrated School Board, Grand Falls-Windsor; Robert Mesher, Vinland Integrated School Board, St. Anthony; William Lee, Avalon Consolidated School Board, St. John’s; Jack Waye and Randell Mercer, Nova Consolidated School Board, Gander; and Cal Patey, Labrador School Board, Happy Valley Goose Bay

A news release states that during the past 50 years, fundamental changes to the education system have been preceded by extensive broad-based public consultations.

Two Royal Commissions, one in 1964, the other in 1990, along with two Referenda, 1996 and 1997, have occurred.

Public consultations brought significant change to the educational system. All had broad-based public support following a lengthy period of public consultations.

The group states that without public consultations, it is not known whether a majority of people want a single provincial school board based in St. John’s.

The group says regional school boards worked well and there is no compelling reason to change. Current dropout rates are at an all time low and the percentage of students graduating from high school is at an all time high.

The group would like government to appoint an independent commission to determine, based on public consultations, the number of elected school boards needed to serve the province.

Organizations: English school, Retired School Board CEO, Action Group Exploits Valley Integrated School Board Vinland Integrated School Board Avalon Consolidated School Board Nova Consolidated School Board Labrador School Board

Geographic location: St. Anthony

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