September 27, 2018
Decisions affecting students require transparency and accountability
With the abolition of elected school boards, Nova Scotia now has the least accountable and transparent education system in Canada, says NSTU President Paul Wozney.
To address this problem, he wants meetings of the Provincial Advisory Council on Education (PACE) to be held in public so parents can observe decisions being made that will impact their children.
“Today a Liberal majority on the provincial human resources committee rubberstamped a list of names handpicked by the Education Minister that will make decisions on behalf of more than 100,000 students and their families,” says Wozney. “While I applaud those who put their name forward to be part of PACE, this is a far cry from the high level of public accountability that existed under elected school boards.”
He adds, “When it comes to decisions involving children, parents deserve 100 per cent access to the process. They have every right to be in the room when important conversations are being had. Posting a sanitized version of meeting minutes on a website isn’t going to cut it.”
In recent weeks the McNeil government also announced it would not adopt a key recommendation of the Commission on Inclusive Education to create an independent body to evaluate the government’s performance when it comes to improving supports for students with special needs.
“The NSTU and other stakeholders are willing and able to collaborate with government on finding solutions to the challenges facing our public education system. But to make progress there needs to be trust between all parties, and that can’t happen as long as government wants to conduct its business in secret. Ultimately, honest conversations require a transparent process.”