ESMB commissioner says scathing Education Ministry report proves his complaints
Published Friday, September 13, 2019 6:39PM EDT Last Updated Friday, September 13, 2019 6:49PM EDT
The Education Ministry's scathing report into the EMSB is further driving the wedge between the Quebec government and the English Montreal School Board.
An excerpt of the report, released Friday, says administrators in the English Montreal School Board should have their powers suspended to save the board from internal divisions, called the board “dysfunctional” and saying officials showed “a low level of maturity.”
"We have to a have an official report from the minister," said EMSB spokesperson Mike Cohen. "We have to have some kind of instructions from the minister as to what they expect us to do with the report. That hasn't happened yet."
The EMSB says it received highlights of the report through the media, and while the board didn't say much in reaction, it's clear it disagrees with its claims.
"I've been here for 21 years, and I have to say I've never seen a finer administratively-run operation and I think the proof is in the pudding again. Our surplus budget, our enrolment of both youth and teens, the success of our students," he said.
EMSB commissioner Julien Feldman, though, has a different story, saying the report proves what he's been complaining about for years.
"Administration can always be improved. As commissioners, we've always demanded improvements from administration. We've never liked the micro-management of the chairman, we've made that clear," he said.
The report comes just days after the EMSB announced it's taking legal action against the government for transferring General Vanier elementary and John Paul I junior high school to the Pointe de l'Ile School Board.
It argues the move violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but if the board is put under trusteeship, as the government is considering that would eliminate council, which would jeopardize the future of the lawsuit.
It's a worry not only for the board but for parents who are concerned about their children's future.
"I think that would threaten a lot of things. It could very well threaten our 91 per cent success rate. It could very well threaten our schools," said parent Maria Corsi.
Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge said it will take 30 days to make his decision on the future of the EMSB.