Don’t let unelected board close schools: Michael

NDP Education Critic Lorraine Michael

NDP Education Critic Lorraine Michael (MHA, St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi) says government must not allow the English School Board to close five schools in the province.

“That board was appointed in 2013. The government of the day promised there would be elections within six months. That time dragged on, and now the current government is saying there will be elections sometime this year,” said Michael.

“Meanwhile, five school communities in this province are facing the threat of closure, and the people who will make that important decision have not been elected and are hence not accountable to the population.”

Michael has been working with parents at Whitbourne Elementary and Sacred Heart School in Conche; MHA Gerry Rogers has been working with Holy Cross Junior High in her district of St. John’s Centre.

“Whitbourne is actually a growing community with increasing enrolment prospects,” said Michael. “In Conche, the plan is to bus the children over Route 434, the dangerous condition of which has been denounced many times in both the House of Assembly and the media. At Holy Cross, parents have questions about the catchment areas the board is using, as well as student access to after-school activities and specialized assistance.

“All these school communities heard the current education minister rail against the unelected school board when he was in opposition, and all are concerned that their schools will be shut down by an unaccountable entity.”

Both Michael and Rogers plan to attend the school board trustees’ meeting tomorrow morning at the District Conference Centre at 9 a.m.

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