March 7, 2018
Decisions impacting teachers, students and schools must be transparent
Holding all meetings of the Provincial Advisory Council on Education (PACE) in camera, only serves to further “disenfranchise” teachers and parents from the decision making process, says NSTU President Liette Doucet.
Under Bill 72, PACE meetings will be held in private, similar to board meetings of the Nova Scotia Health Authority. The legislation also contains no provisions for PACE to even hold meetings or to disclose if, when and where they are held. Currently school board meetings must be held at regular times, in public and minutes are published on- line.
“Following the passage of Bill 72 Nova Scotia will have the most secretive education system in Canada,” says NSTU President, Liette Doucet. “Major decisions about the allocation of funds, school closures, and the awarding of contracts will all take place behind closed doors, by individuals hand-picked by the Minister. Without any level of transparency how can the public be certain decisions are being made in the best interests of students?”
Doucet adds, “Ultimately when it comes to government, knowledge equals power. By fundamentally restricting access to information about the decision making process, what the government has done with Bill 72 is to erode the ability of parents, teachers and communities to bring about positive change in their schools.”