This section of the toolkit provides possible responses to concerns or questions about Bill 64. The Key Messages contained in the province-wide Communications Plan should guide your responses although trustees and school boards may wish to customize them for relevancy to their communities.
Click on the statement or question to expand the explanation. The first statement is open by default.
Currently, school funding spends only 3 cents on the dollar for highly qualified administrators and 0.5 cents to school boards. For comparison, 20 – 30 cents is considered standard for a well-run non-profit or charity. For-profit business is a wide range but administration is not even as low as what is spent on the schooling of your children.
Government controls administrative costs and will still control that in any new system.
Determining the total number of school divisions or trustees should be informed by:
- Are the finances of a school division sustainable for a comprehensive education for students in their catchment?
- Could joining together of resources achieve greater fiscal efficiency or ratepayer equity?
- Are enrolments in a school division sustainable to support continuation of an independent governance, administrative and academic structure?
We are supportive of parents having a voice in the education system and have been a long-time supporter of and have good relations with our Parent Advisory Councils. What the government is proposing however, is:
- an advisory role, not a decision-making role. Decisions will still be made by the central authority in Winnipeg, the Provincial Education Authority.
- an advisory role for parents but where is the role of the ‘expert’ in decision-making? Bill 64 introduces mechanisms for parent influence over decision-making in areas best suited for the expertise of trained teachers and principals. For example, staff hiring and performance evaluations, recommendations regarding priorities and policies on discipline management and analysis of student achievement and outcomes.
The government made promises in the past about formal meetings on education with parents. Many have been broken even when written in law. Two years ago, the Minister eliminated the legal duty to meet annually with the Manitoba Association of Parent Councils and 30 years ago the government created an advisory council to inform the department’s work. Meetings have not happened once over the last 20 years.