Changes were made in 2017 to the Education Act for the province which resulted in almost all processes for public input being repealed or weakened by our provincial government. Now that a new premier has been chosen for our province we have the opportunity to send him a message on the need to reverse the changes made under his predecessor that took away many of the democratic rights that existed in the Education Act previously and putting more control in the hands of the Minister of Education.
Under the changes that were made:
• At the annual elector’s meeting the public lost the right to freely question trustees and directors in a public assembly
• Teachers and school staff who have first-hand knowledge of the system and its problems are no longer able to stand for election as trustees unless they quit and wait two years
• Sweeping powers were given to the Minister of Education to direct almost all aspects of education in local communities
• The Minister of Education can now issue a written directive to local school boards “to take any action that the minister considers necessary.”
• If there is any resistance to directives from the Minister of the Education the minister can now suspend the board and appoint a single person to take over the work of the elected trustees
• All the provisions for public input into school and program closures has been removed from the Education Act
• Guaranteed rights like public notice, public meetings, and limits on transportation distances are now regulations easily changed or discarded by the Minister of Education’s order
Communities in Saskatchewan now find themselves under an education system that stifles democracy while increasing the powers of the Minister of Education. Democracy in our province needs to be strengthened and not weakened, most especially when it comes to something as precious and valuable as the education of our children.
Please join with us to call on our provincial government to reverse the changes that it made in 2017 to our Education Act and bring democracy back to the Education Act in Saskatchewan.
Please download, sign and pledge your support to Bring Democracy Back to the Education Act.