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Stakeholder Letter Re: Education Modernization Act

 

February 3, 2021

Dear Stakeholder,

Extensive public consultations for the Manitoba Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education Review ended in Spring 2019 with a promise of public transparency and accountability of the results from the Minister of Education.  Spring 2021 is almost upon us and the results of this stakeholder consultation by the Provincial Government have yet to be made public.

In November 2020, the first reading of Bill 64, The Education Modernization Act, took place in the Manitoba Legislature. Contrary to normal practice, this bill was then withheld from public scrutiny. This leads us to ask, is the content of this Act linked to the Education Review? Will recommendations from the public review process become legislation without the public having a chance to consider or debate those recommendations? If so, where is the transparency and accountability as promised by the former Minister of Education? Where is the respect for stakeholder input and participation from the Provincial Government?

The Southwest Horizon Board of Trustees has registered to speak to Bill 64, following second reading of the Bill.  This second reading may take place at any time and so we wish to inform and engage you, our local stakeholders.  Please see attached a revised version of our 2019 submission to the Manitoba Commission on Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education which will form the basis of our presentation.  We welcome the voices of community spokespersons who would also speak to the committee on behalf of the many benefits, advantages, and contributions made by Southwest Horizon School Board and Division.

It is vital that our grassroots stand up at this critical juncture.  The referral of Bill 64 to committee will present one of the most significant opportunities for our communities to speak on why local public education matters now more than ever before, considering the challenges the education system has faced throughout the pandemic.

A restructuring of our education system on the heels of a pandemic will not provide the resources and supports our students will need as they work to overcome the educational deficits that continue to mount due to pandemic interruptions.  Our school division and communities need stability to plan in an uncertain time and the fiscal resources to do the job.

We invite you to add your voice to our request for transparency and accountability regarding the Education Review and the Education Modernization Act.  Our communities are our schools. Our future is our children. Please join us in having our local voices heard.

Sincerely,

 

Cheryl Rushing

Cheryl Rushing

Cheryl Rushing

Chair

Southwest Horizon School Division