Newly-formed coalition says CAQ's plan to abolish school boards is unconstitutional
Published Thursday, April 25, 2019 12:39PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 25, 2019 6:58PM EDT
A new coalition of English rights groups, politicians and schools are vowing to fight the CAQ’s plan to get rid of school boards.
The coalition, APPELE – Alliance for the Promotion of Public English-Language Education - says that minority rights are protected under the Constitution, and hopes it can change the government's mind before it gets to be a legal battle.
It's headed by former MNA Geoffrey Kelley and includes school boards, groups like the Townshipper's Association and the Quebec Board of Black Educators.
The CAQ campaigned on the abolition of school boards, saying it wants to replace them with service centres - although it’s still not clear exactly what that would look like.
APPELE's plan is to prove to Quebecers that school boards are still valuable, and that they provide a crucial link between parents and the government that civil servants can’t do.
Another goal is to increase participation in school board elections. In 2014, for instance, only 5.5 percent of 5.1 million registered voters cast a ballot.
Kelley spoke today about how the transfer of Riverdale High School in Pierrefonds is an example of how the government doesn't make decisions with parents in mind.
Education Minister Jean Francois Roberge is expected to meet with the media at 1:45 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, and is expected to respond to this latest fight against the CAQ’s government.
“I think if anything, the Riverdale [High School] example is an example of what shouldn’t be done. If the goal of this government is to be more in-tuned to what the community needs, and what the parents of that community – and the students of that community need – you have to change the way you do business,” Kelley said.