QESBA con­fer­ences , con­ven­tions, con­gresses, com­mit­tees and con­sul­ta­tions

Sherbrooke Record - - EDITORIAL -

When I was a sin­gle fa­ther, I would of­ten watch an ed­u­ca­tional pro­gram called 'Sesame Street.' The show, among other things, taught kids: num­bers, colours and the al­pha­bet.

One fea­ture of the show fea­tured the 'Let­ter of the Day.' An an­nouncer would say: "Sesame Street is brought to you to­day by the let­ter 'C'. Then the screen would show a cat, cow, cake, cu­cum­ber and so on.

The QESBA is like 'Sesame Street.' It's a show but ev­ery­day is brought to you by the let­ter 'C' to jus­tify its ex­is­tence.

Con­sider the con­fer­ences , con­ven­tions, con­gresses, com­mit­tees and con­sul­ta­tions that have ab­so­lutely noth­ing to do with the most im­por­tant 'C' - the class­room. Of what value were the shindigs in Den­ver, Colorado, and Whistler, B.C? Why is that? The an­swer: The Mis­sion State­ment of the QESBA states: "Be­cause school com­mis­sion­ers and boards are val­ued clients, the prime fo­cus of the As­so­ci­a­tion is to ful­fill the needs of school boards." Put another way, the coun­cils of com­mis­sion­ers.

And how do they ful­fill those "needs"? The State­ment says: "we com­mu­ni­cate, col­lab­o­rate and co­op­er­ate" - yep, 'C' again.

Ap­par­ently, they will be do­ing that on Fri­day, Septem­ber 8, 2017. It is my un­der­stand­ing, on the agenda are two items that should raise con­cern with Que­bec's English school tax­pay­ers:

- the hir­ing of a con­sul­tant at a cost of $66,000, which Eastern Town­ships School Board Chair­man Mike Mur­ray so aptly de­scribed: "To me it sounds like an as­so­ci­a­tion that has lost its way and look­ing for a pur­pose." (The Record, Aug. 24)

- also, it seems QESBA is plan­ning on rais­ing its mem­ber­ship fees.

Even though our stu­dent pop­u­la­tion is de­clin­ing, QESBA con­tin­ues to hide be­hind chil­dren, to jus­tify its abuse of the prov­ince's cof­fers.

Any­way, the Mis­sion State­ment pro­claims: "The As­so­ci­a­tion must act with in­tegrity... en­dorse an open style of op­er­at­ing..."

"Open?" Where is its bud­get? It for­mally re­fuses to dis­close it. Where are the min­utes to the as­so­ci­a­tion's meet­ings?

Not nec­es­sary. This cosy coun­try club is al­ways ready to slap down the 'Con­sti­tu­tion,' or the 'Char­ter' and prat­tle on about "mi­nor­ity rights."

Aah..."mi­nor­ity rights" - the mother of all cash cows.

The men­tion of "mi­nor­ity rights" al­most guar­an­tees, un­for­tu­nately, for the gov­ern­ment to bend its knee toward this or­ga­ni­za­tion that re­ally has no rai­son d'être.

Think about school board re­form Bill 86, QESBA'S threat to go to the Supreme Court of Canada, and the gov­ern­ment's col­lapse by scrap­ping the bill.

In Que­bec, the public ed­u­ca­tion trough is deep and wide.

C'mon QESBA, do the classy thing: don't hire a con­sul­tant; don't raise mem­ber­ship fees - dis­band.

Go home and think of the big 'C' in your com­mu­nity - the class­room.


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