Trustees Want Merger, Bill 115 Scrapped
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:59 PMby
Bluewater Board wants repeal of Bill 115, discusses merger with Catholic Board.
The Bluewater District School Board has drawn its line in the sand as far as the Putting Students First Act or Bill 115 is concerned.
Trustees have voted unanimously to urge the province to repeal the bill saying it undermines human rights law, labour law and democratic institutions like the board.
The motion -- as presented by board Vice Chair Jim Dawson on Tuesday night -- says the bill is causing hardships for students, teachers and all members of the educational community.
In addition to repealing Bill 115, the board also approved looking at merging the public and Separate School Boards in Bruce-Grey.
Board Chair Jan Johnstone says the students from both systems already play together after school or on sports teams so maybe it's time to teach them together as well.
Johnston says Catholic education can still be provided but there are efficiencies if both boards are brought under one umbrella.
The same concept would apply to the French boards as well.
Trustee Kevin Larson believes reducing the number of boards from four in the region to two, could save billions down the road.
Larson says he's aware the Bruce Grey Catholic School board is already in negotiations to amalgamate the local board with other Catholic boards in Huron-Perth and Wellington but he says if there is to be any movement on Bluewater's plan, the public will have to speak up and let their elected politicians know.
Vice Chair Jim Dawson says he's hoping the Ministry of Education will listen to what many of the school boards are saying and will re-consider the legislation of Bill 115.
Dawson admits a bit of a monkey wrench has been thrown into the mix since the Ontario Legislature was shut down this week for the foreseeable future.
However he says the cabinet is still meeting, the Premier is still Premier and there can still be Lieutenant Governor in Council decisions so he hopes the repeal request can move forward.