Education minister 'drops a bomb': EMSB worried three schools could be turned over to French system
Published Thursday, May 9, 2019 5:59PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 10, 2019 10:20AM EDT
The provincial government has warned the English Montreal School Board that three schools may be turned over to the French school system.
In a statement on the school board’s website, the EMSB said it is “concerned about a possible decision by Quebec Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge to use section 477.1.1 of the Education Act to ‘accelerate the transfer’ of three youth sector schools to the Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l'île.”
Roberge is holding a news conference to discuss the issue Friday morning, while Mancini has scheduled a news conference for noon.
Roberge sent a letter to school board chair Angela Mancini in which he stated he wishes to transfer the following schools in the upcoming 2019-2020 academic year:
- Gerald McShane Elementary
- General Vanier Elementary
- John Paul I Junior High School
Gerald McShane school is in in Montreal North, while the other two are in St-Leonard.
“The minister has basically said that he intends to take three buildings,” said EMSB vice-chair Joe Ortona in an interview with CTV Montreal. “He’s basically asking us for information about our students, our clientele, in these three buildings and he’s giving us until June 10 to respond.”
The school board is already facing a standoff with Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge over the fate of Galileo Adult Education Centre. The board is asking for more time to find a solution to ease overcrowding within the Pointe-de-l’Ile board.
“We’re quite shocked by it. He said he’s giving us until the end of the month, which is way shorter than the 18-month consultation period. And he drops this bombshell not even 24 hours later,” said Ortona.
Section 477.1.1 of the Education Act reads: "On the recommendation of the Minister, the Government may, if it considers it advisable in the public interest and so as to foster effective and efficient management of the immovables belonging to school boards, order that the ownership of an immovable belonging to a school board be transferred to another school board so that the latter school board may establish an educational institution. Such a transfer shall take effect on the date determined by the Government."
School board commissioners will hold a special meeting on the matter on Monday night.