Do we need school boards?

An interesting topic for folks to weigh in on over at

With the school board elections part of the November 19 ballot, there is some discussion in BC about abolishing the boards and either turning over their function to local government i.e.: city council or forming committees to handle the tasks currently done by the boards.

Read up on the topic and join in with an opinion there. … ds-at-all/

I don’t mind a discussion about the need for school boards but you gotta love John Ferry perhaps the most anti-education or at least the most anti-teacher journalist out there.

He writes a completely biased, one-sided opinion piece on scrapping school boards and then has the audacity to include a poll. Talk about manipulating public opinion.

So weigh in and steer the debate then, everyone is entitled to an opinion otherwise there isn’t much of a debate.


The Provincial Government will never get rid of School Boards unless they can figure out something that works better for their purposes. The advantage of school boards to the provincial government is that the board allows the province to deflect criticism and complaints for a relatively cheap amount of money.

By way of example

An irate Parent phones the Ministry of Education and says “You are not providing enought funding for my child who has a learning problem”.
Ministry of Education official says “Thank you for expressing your problem. The government provides the School District with a funding envelope and it is up to the School Board to decide how to spend the money”.

What the Ministry of Education official doesn’t say is that the Ministry determines how most of the money can be spent. There are mandatory class size caps, a mandatory curriculumn, a requirement to maintain buildings that are no longer in use, and well the list could go on…

So, it is really an impossible situation for members of School Boards to be in. To judge their effectiveness as a governing board, ask yourself how many decisions the Board makes at a meeting (beside that of calling the meeting to order, listening to various staff make their reports, and adjourning the meeting).

So for the Ministry of Education it is a cheap exercise in fobbing off responsibility. What they might do however , is enter into another round of School District amalgamations. The argument will be that they will save administrative costs, thus allowing more money to be spent in the class room.