Minister must act on lame duck board’s Whitbourne action: Michael
NDP Education Critic Lorraine Michael (MHA, St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi) says the Board of the province’s English School District is completely unjustified in its latest “premature and unnecessary” announcement concerning Whitbourne Elementary. On Friday, July 29, a judge told the NLESD it had not followed correct procedures to close the school, and ordered a reversal of the decision.
“Just a week and a half later, the board announced a Special Meeting with the sole purpose of tabling a motion to close the school,” Michael said. “It certainly looks as though the Board does not plan to be any more consultative or informative than it was before.”
Michael has written to the Education Minister, asking him to intervene. She says the Board’s unelected status is made even more tenuous in the face of an upcoming election for a new school board.
The letter says, in part: “The logical and objective thing for the Board to do would have been to leave the matter for the new Board which will be be in place this fall. Not to do so suggests an inappropriate stake in closing this particular school.”
“By tabling this notice of motion, the board is saying quite clearly that not only does it not care what the people of Whitbourne think, it is prepared to insist on getting its own way without considering the newer census information, the court opinion, and the fact that the board itself will finally be replaced in November by an elected body,” Michael said.
“I see no evidence of further consultation or willingness to look at more up-to-date demographic information, simply the blind determination to close the school. This is unacceptable and the Minister must step in.”
Michael will attend the public meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning.