REGINA – Community voice and locally elected boards of education contribute to a more democratic and transparent education system, according to the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA).
School boards are very concerned about the effects of the changes the Government of Saskatchewan is considering in education, including further forced amalgamations of school divisions and the elimination of democratically and locally elected school boards.
“In education, decisions are best made at the grassroots level and school boards provide a connection and accountability with the community,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, president of the SSBA. “Loss of local voice through the reduction of locally elected boards of education will not be good for students, communities or the education system. Communities and school boards that already have experienced forced amalgamations in our province know that it is very disruptive for schools and students. Huge changes like that take significant time and resources and they don’t save money.”
Saskatchewan boards of education strongly believe that the focus should be on continuing the progress being realized with the Education Sector Strategic Plan and ensuring all children in Saskatchewan – regardless of where they live or their personal circumstances – have the resources and supports they need to achieve and succeed.
The 28 locally elected school boards have a vital role in serving Saskatchewan’s education system. For more than 100 years, the longest lasting and most fundamental responsibility of schools boards has been to bring the voice of the public to publicly funded education. Boards of education provide families, communities and students a crucial connection to democratic decision-making in their school systems.
“Education belongs to community – the SSBA represents 28 unique and diverse boards of education in our province and we need local people to join us in letting the government know that Saskatchewan school boards matter,” Davidson said. “Just like locally elected representation is important for maintaining local infrastructure, so are locally elected school boards important to local communities and providing education to our students.”
The SSBA is encouraging communities to add their voices to this discussion; details are available at: http://saskschoolboards.ca/education-belongs-to-community/.