Should school boards be abolished?

[cross posted at LeaderTalk]

Over the past few years I’ve been hearing people talk about the idea of abolishing school boards in Quebec.

This past week it was in the news again:

Dumont ready to bring down Quebec gov’t over school boards

ADQ Leader Mario Dumont said Tuesday he’s willing to force a confidence vote over the future of Quebec school boards.

The Action Démocratique du Québec is tabling a motion for a confidence vote in the national assembly over the Liberal government’s refusal to abolish school boards.

If the Parti Québécois supports the motion it would be enough to topple Premier Jean Charest’s Liberal minority government, which would force elections in December. ..

…Dumont said the continued existence of school boards is a fundamental issue in Quebec.

School board elections held last weekend failed to draw more than 20 per cent of registered voters — proof it’s time to review their mandate, the ADQ leader said.

The Parti Quebecois did not end up supporting the motion (no one wanted early elections) but I am sure this is not the last we hear of this.

I’m wondering what you think about the idea of getting rid of school boards. The idea behind it is so that money can go directly to schools instead of being spent on the boards’ bureaucratic machines. (Uh oh…did I just give away my bias? ;) )

Some things I imagine…

Imagine if money that was used on school board consultant salaries, for example, was used to support teachers as they consult with each other within their own school communities and across different school communities?

Imagine if some of that money could be used to hire external consultants that a school community could choose based on the specific needs of each school.

Imagine if external consultants had to compete for the privilege of working in a school community – imagine the quality of consulting that would result.

Imagine if teachers were forced to create things like policy about their own practice.

Oh…the places we could go!