When I first heard the news – that Line Beauchamp, Quebec’s Education Minister, is presenting a proposal during this weekend’s Liberal party caucus to cut school board funding in half – I literally high-fived my rear-view mirror. Maybe not the best thing to do while driving through the slippery roadways skirting the construction of highway 30 as you approach the island of Montreal from the west in the dark and rain at 6am… but I was happy to hear it.
We’ve been moving in this direction. Decision-making power has been slowly shifting to the schools over the past little while as it is. School-based success plans are one example. The Quebec Education Program, with its student-centered, competency based approach, is in itself a template for a school-centered education system.
Where will the money that is being cut from the school boards go? Last night on CBC news Mrs. Beauchamp said it herself – it will go directly to the schools. And it will be the schools who will decide where the money will go.
So why are teachers (and here I am probably referring more to teacher unions rather than individual teachers) angered?
There is a lot to do in order to make the transition from the model where school board makes the decisions that principals and, in turn, teachers have to carry out to a model that has principals and teachers carrying out their own decisions. But this model can only benefit our bottom line, our students. Individuals in the schools know what is best for the students in them. As well as for the adults that care for the students.
I think this is great news. What do you think?
ps – the title to this blog post is taken directly from this Oct. 21/2011 CBC news article:
Planned school board cuts anger Quebec teachers