Manitoba’s decision to eliminate locally elected school boards will deny communities local autonomy and accountability in public education.

The British Columbia School Trustees Association (BCSTA) believes that the planned removal of democratically elected school boards in favour of a provincial oversight body will negatively impact student success in the province of Manitoba.

Removing democratically elected school boards will not improve test scores, cited as the core reason for the restructuring of Manitoba’s public education governance. Rather, studies have confirmed that boards of education make a positive difference for students and improve learning outcomes.

Eliminating a community’s ability to address local priorities is misguided. Community councils cannot replace the autonomy and independent local decision-making ability of elected school boards. Communities will not be adequately or appropriately represented by provincial appointees who lack local understanding and context.

B.C. is recognized for its high-quality public education system, in part because of the important work boards do to co-govern the province’s public education system to support all learners. Local representation is the heart of public education.

Stephanie Higginson
President, BCSTA