Further Study of Bill 40 needed
In its report on its hearings, APPELE-Québec urged the Quebec Government to delay passage of Bill 40 (amending the Education Act re school organization and governance) for further discussion.
According to Geoffrey Kelley, Chair, APPELE-Québec, the diverse voices heard at the hearings are unanimous in their belief that Bill 40 in its current form fails to enhance student success. Further discussion and analysis is needed. “Bill 40 represents the most important transformation of school governance since the creation of linguistic school boards in the 1990’s, and we urge the Quebec government to take the time to build consensus on the path forward.”
“If Quebec is determined to pass Bill 40 in its current form, it should exempt our school boards from the legislation as they have done with the Cree School Board and Kativik Ilisarniliriniq, the school board of Nunavik. If the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement is cause to exempt Cree and Inuit networks from Bill 40, then the constitutional rights of Quebec’s English-speaking community to control and manage our educational system merits similar treatment.”
At its hearing November 18, APPELE-Québec heard from 18 organizations and individuals. Concerns raised about the draft legislation ranged from the composition of Service Centre Boards of Directors to the electoral process and the centralization of power in the Minister of Education, and disappointment that consideration was not given to the 2015 Election Systems Panel’s recommendations.
An element of Bill 40 that has not received much attention is the repeal of provisions of the Quebec Education Act for services in spiritual guidance and community involvement. (edited for brevity)
Rita Legault, QCGN,