School Boards Look Ahead to Next Steps in School Board Governance
Toronto, December 16, 2009 -Yesterday, Bill 177, the Student Achievement and School Board Governance Act received Royal Assent. This concludes a legislative process that began over a year ago with the creation of a Governance Review Committee (GRC) and consultation paper. The Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) welcomed the Ministry's initiative that looked at clarifying roles, responsibilities and accountabilities among education partners.
In February 2009, OPSBA presented a submission to the GRC, which was the result of province-wide consultation with public school boards. The Ministry released its report, School Board Governance: A Focus on Achievement in the Spring. OPSBA was pleased to find many of its recommendations included. The Ministry of Education then introduced Bill 177 in early May.
As the Bill moved through the legislature, OPSBA continued to advocate and articulate its position while communicating regularly with the Ministry. In late October, OPSBA addressed the Standing Committee on Social Policy and presented a brief that identified those aspects of the legislation supported by public boards and other aspects that were cause for concern. On Monday November 30th, Bill 177, Student Achievement and School Board Governance, was passed by the legislature. OPSBA was appreciative that the final version of the Bill reflected a number of the suggestions the Association made to the Standing Committee.
Next steps will see the drafting of regulations and implementation steps that flow from this legislation.
"We will continue to advocate for school boards as regulations are drafted and as provisions of the Student Achievement and School Board Governance Act are implemented," said Colleen Schenk, president of OPSBA. "In so doing we stress the important role of school boards as an effective and vital level of governance for promoting democracy and civic engagement at the local level."
The Association anticipates continued collaborative partnership with the Ministry of Education in these next steps, including full consultation before the regulations are passed.
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