Les Fédérations des commissions scolaires

Les Fédérations des directions d’établissement d’enseignement

Les Syndicats

English School Boards Candidates List Sends Message – Abolish School Boards.

49.5% of all English School Board Commissioner  seats are acclaimed or with no candidate .

While some school board officials including the QESBA continue to state how school boards are important, the list of commissioner seats being contested  in the upcoming school board  election tells a different story.

Out of the nine English school boards, there are only three school boards in which the number of contested seats outnumber the acclaimed seats. There is one commissioner seat in which no-one is running and there is one school board, the New Frontier School Board, in which no one is running for the chair position.

Provincially, 47 commissioner seats were acclaimed including one commissioner seat with no candidate and 48 commissioner seats contested. For the chairman positions, provincially there are six contested seats , two acclaimed and one with no one running.

After all the hype and publicity by the QESBA including a CTV NEWS interview with  a QESBA official on Saturday evening, the results are pathetic and another indicator that school boards have no real backing by the populace and should be scrapped.

 

Élections scolaires – Recherche de candidats. Find the Candidates.

Élections scolaires       School Board Elections

 

Recherche de candidats                            Find your candidate

 

Diminuer au niveau des structures et de la bureaucratie, et avoir plus d’argent disponible» pour les services aux élèves

Un milliard de moins en education

Par: Tommy Chouinard, La Presse

Québec réduirait de près de un milliard de dollars le budget du ministère de l’Éducation avec sa réforme tous azimuts du réseau scolaire, a appris La Presse.

Les mesures envisagées et révélées par La Presse hier, qui constitueraient une partie de la réforme, représentent des coupes majeures. Le gouvernement Couillard évalue que des économies se situant entre 900 et 950 millions seraient dégagées annuellement, au terme de l’exercice, si la réforme était mise en application dans son intégralité. C’est environ 9% du budget du ministère de l’Éducation, qui se chiffre à 10,5 milliards. L’estimation inclurait l’abolition de centaines de postes. Le Parti libéral du Québec (PLQ) a promis en campagne électorale d’en supprimer 620 au ministère de l’Éducation.

Le couperet est déjà tombé dans les directions régionales, dont l’abolition a été annoncée ce printemps. Cette mesure entraînerait l’élimination d’une centaine de postes.

Hier à l’Assemblée nationale, le ministre de l’Éducation, Yves Bolduc, a confirmé que les mesures révélées par La Presse sont bel et bien à l’étude. Il s’agit de la baisse du financement des écoles privées et de la fusion, voire l’abolition des commissions scolaires, par exemple.

«Je ne commenterai aucune hypothèse, a-t-il dit. Il faut prendre le temps de les regarder, de bien [y] réfléchir, et après ça, on posera les actions qui sont adéquates. L’objectif global est de diminuer au niveau des structures et de la bureaucratie, et avoir plus d’argent disponible» pour les services aux élèves.

Retrouver l’équilibre budgétaire

Yves Bolduc a souligné que ces «hypothèses» font partie des échanges entre son ministère et la Commission de révision permanente des programmes.

Cette dernière, présidée par l’ancienne ministre Lucienne Robillard, est chargée de trouver 3,2 milliards d’économies dans l’appareil public, afin de permettre au gouvernement de retrouver l’équilibre budgétaire à compter de 2015-2016. Elle déposera un premier rapport en octobre et un deuxième en décembre.

Le ministre attendra après les élections scolaires du 2 novembre pour présenter sa réforme. Pour lui, ce n’est pas paradoxal de tenir cet exercice, dont le coût s’élève à 20 millions, alors qu’il a l’intention de fusionner ou carrément abolir les commissions scolaires.

«Ça fait sept ans que les commissaires ont été élus. Ça fait trois fois [que leurs mandats] sont renouvelés. Les gens nous disent qu’ils sont essoufflés, qu’ils voudraient avoir un renouvellement. Avec la nouvelle équipe, dès le lendemain des élections, on va regarder qu’est-ce qui doit être fait pour diminuer la bureaucratie, revoir nos structures», a-t-il expliqué.

Ballon d’essai

La députée péquiste et critique en matière d’éducation, Nicole Léger, soupçonne Yves Bolduc d’être responsable de ce «festival de ballons d’essai».

Il veut faire diversion sur les compressions dans les services aux élèves, comme l’aide aux devoirs, selon elle. «En quoi [la réforme envisagée] va aider à améliorer la réussite scolaire?», a-t-elle demandé. Rappelons que le gouvernement Marois voulait fusionner des commissions scolaires pour réaliser des économies de 125 millions. La ministre de l’Éducation de l’époque, Marie Malavoy, avait également l’intention de couper les subventions aux écoles privées qui sélectionnent leurs élèves.

De son côté, le député caquiste Jean-François Roberge reproche aux libéraux de «lancer des idées à gauche et à droite», sans ligne directrice.

«C’est un feu d’artifice de mesures possibles», a-t-il lancé. Il a rappelé que son parti milite pour l’abolition des commissions scolaires, qui seraient remplacées par des «centres de services plus légers».

Il a souligné que des écoles privées risquent de fermer leurs portes si Québec réduit leurs subventions.

«Si on pense économiser de l’argent en coupant dans le financement des écoles privées… On risque de se retrouver avec une dépense supplémentaire parce que ces élèves-là, il faut bien qu’ils aillent à l’école quelque part, puis on risque d’assumer 100% de la facture», a-t-il soutenu.

La réforme en préparation

> Abolition des commissions scolaires ou réduction de leur nombre (72 à 46)

> Transfert de pouvoirs en éducation aux municipalités (gestion des infrastructures

et transport scolaire)

> Baisse d’au moins 50% du financement des écoles privées

> Création d’un ordre professionnel des enseignants

> Réduction du nombre d’épreuves ministérielles (tests obligatoires en français et en mathématiques, par exemple)

> Changements à la taxation scolaire en vue d’instaurer un taux unique par région

> Abolition de comités consultatifs au ministère de l’Éducation

Something Smells in the Handling of the Ethics Case against the LBPSB Chairperson and It Ain’t the Fish. No?

LBPSB ethics commissioner ruling contested

By:  of the West Island Gazette

A ruling by the Lester B. Pearson School Board ethics commissioner earlier this month will be contested by the three complainants who requested an investigation in June.

The conflict-of-interest investigation was requested by Michèle Poupore, Cindy MacDonald and Luc Horne. It focused on a period of time when LBPSB chair Suanne Stein Day was serving as both LBPSB chair and an executive with the Quebec Federation of Home and School.

On Sept. 12, ethics commissioner Bernard Grenier, from the law firm Schurman Longo Grenier, released the ruling that stated the conflict-of-interest allegations were unfounded.

Horne is concerned about how the investigation was handled.

MacDonald and Poupore met with Grenier in July to go over the evidence they had compiled. Horne was not able to attend that meeting and was not consequently interviewed.

There was talk of a second meeting with Grenier but it did not happen.

Grenier said he tried to contact the complainants by email, but couldn’t reach them. The complainants said they were never contacted. In a press release sent to the media after the ruling, the trio said Poupore tried to contact Grenier in early September after not hearing anything about a second meeting and was told he was out of the country until Sept. 29.

“I am surprised — when it involved a file as important as this one — that if they could not contact us by email that it wasn’t followed up by a telephone call,” Horne said.

Horne said he was uncomfortable with the fact that Stein Day is the chair of the Governance and Ethics Committee and that the investigation should have been handled by an independent body and not by an ethics commissioner attached to the school board.

Stein Day acknowledged that she is chair of the Governance and Ethics Committee but, “that committee is not involved in the complaint procedure. The case went directly to the director general who passed it on to the independent ethics commissioner.”

Stein Day said she believes that the motivation behind the contesting of the ruling is the upcoming school board elections.

“(Grenier) found no conflict of interest because there isn’t any,” Stein Day said. “It is my belief that they didn’t answer the ethics commissioner’s requests (for a meeting) during the summer because they wanted this to drag into the (school board) election period.”

School board elections will be held Nov. 2. Stein Day is running for chair.

“I am not running for any school board position and am not affiliated with anyone currently running,” Horne said.

Horne, a retired teacher, is a co-founder of Citizens for the Democratic and Independent Schools association — a movement that believes in having autonomous schools instead of school boards.

He said he, Poupore and MacDonald have contacted the school board about their concerns, will talk about the ruling at debates and question periods during the election campaign and might also consider taking legal action.

kgreenaway@montrealgazette.com

ACDSA Editors note:

re: “Stein Day said she believes that the motivation behind the contesting of the ruling is the upcoming school board elections”   As the LBPSB Chairman, Miss Stein  Day should inform herself before uttering ill based accusations.  The complainants never got emails from Me Grenier to establish a follow up meeting as was planned.  Ms Poupore called Me Grenier’s office on Sept 9th to ask when she would be called up to file testimony. She was informed that he was out of the country till Sept. 29th. This was followed up by an email  from Cindy MacDonald to the LBPSB DG Bob Mills  requesting an update regarding the file.
The complainants will be vigorously contesting this ruling.  They informed the press and  ACSDSA to stay tuned for follow-up developments. While the complainants were shut out of further testimony, Mrs Suanne Day who is the chairman of the LBPSB Ethics Committee had two further brief conversation with Me Grenier after having done her testimony  during the summer.

Something smells in the handling of this ethics case case and it ain’t the fish. No?

Les écoles internationales à la Commission scolaire Lester B.Pearson: les élèves étrangers entre les mains de promoteurs véreux?

Par:

Depuis que j’ai appris l’existence de ces écoles professionnelles privées promues à l’étranger par la Commission scolaire Lester B.Pearson, je m’inquiète. D’abord, parce que même à titre citoyen informé, il est difficile de faire respecter ses droits à la commission scolaire. Ensuite parce que je travaille auprès d’Immigrants depuis fort longtemps. Notamment,  il y a quelques années, j’ai aidé deux amis qui devaient faire, ici même au Québec, l’examen de français pour les étrangers. Leur statut ne leur permettait pas de suivre les cours de langue du ministère. Pour devenir résident permanent, ils devaient se préparer pour un test offert par des firmes privées. À cette fin, ils ont d’abord vogué sans aide d’une école de langue à une autre. Les prix variants considérablement, il semble sans aucune règle. Il faut savoir qu’en ce qui concerne les cours de langue, en particulier l’enseignement du français, on  retrouve dans le secteur privé : des moniteurs, des tuteurs, des formateurs mais  très peu d’enseignants qualifiés. Puis, encore les immigrants se font conseiller par toutes sortes de personnes qui souvent s’improvisent et n’ont pas les qualifications nécessaires.

C’est pourquoi, l’idée d’instaurer des écoles professionnelles et linguistiques internationales privées par la Commission scolaire, pour les étudiants étrangers, me laisse perplexe. Au premier chef, la reddition de compte n’y est pas. En effet, sous prétexte que ces écoles sont privées, il est impossible de voir les états financiers de ces écoles. Encore, impossible de savoir si les droits de ces étudiants sont respectés. Même, ont-ils des droits? À quels endroits peuvent-ils porter leur plainte s’il y a un problème? Quelle est la qualité des cours offerts? Quelles sont les qualifications du personnel enseignant dans ces écoles?

Encore, plutôt que de prendre en charge le recrutement des élèves, la Commission scolaire fait affaire avec un intermédiaire Edu Edge. Pourquoi?  De plus, si une entreprise privée recrute les étudiants au nom de la Commission scolaire à l’étranger, pourquoi ouvrir des bureaux aux Indes et en Chine? Quels sont les frais administratifs payés pour les services offerts?

Regardons de plus près la compagnie Edu Edge. Cette compagnie torontoise se spécialise dans le recrutement des étudiants étrangers. Mais rien sur le site ne permet de vérifier qui sont les personnes derrière Edu Edge. Il est donc impossible, du moins pour le grand public de vérifier les qualifications de ces personnes… Sachant qu’au cours des dernières années, il y a eu plusieurs fraudes visant les étrangers désirant vivre au Canada, cela est très inquiétant.

D’ailleurs  un article paru en décembre 2012, à CBC News semble confirmer mes craintes. Dans cet article, il est question de Vipul Patel venu étudier à la Comission scolaire Lester B.Pearson. L’agent recruteur d’Edu Edge lui a fait miroiter l’idée d’étudier au Canada dans le but d’y immigrer. Dans son cas, personne ne l’a informé de l’importance du français pour vivre au Québec… La responsable du programme international à la commission scolaire, Carol Mastantuona, soutient que si les dires de M.Patel sont confirmées par l’enquête on mettra un terme au partenariat avec Edu Edge.

Reste à espérer, ici que Vitul Patel sera rejoint par les autorités scolaires…Dans certains dossiers il semble que les témoins principaux soient écartés….Heureusement, il y a une lueur d’espoir ici, l’enquête est mené par un groupe externe le ICCRC (Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council).

Pour Joindre:  Politique scolaire québécoise

Québec Education Minister Must Assign Forensic Auditors To Review School Boards Financial Operations.

The decision by the Education Minister of Québec to audit the CSDM is none too soon but it be a mistake to stop there. All school boards in Québec need to be audited and not just a regular audit. Forensic audits is what is needed to root out mismanagement and corruption.

Independent audits are only a partial answer. What are really needed are forensic audits for regular audits are cursory at best. In most school boards expenses of less than $10 000 do not require approval and is treated more like petty cash with accounting practices to match. I asked for Access to Info on expense account of an ex Director General to be told that most of the receipts claims etc. could not be found.

Having seen the system from within, it is obvious that many administrative costs can be hidden by including those costs within student programs and thus not being actually tied to administrative expenses. The last time I checked, schools are being charged fees by the school boards to “administer” services supplied.

Lastly, the Education Minister must assign a forensic auditor to all school boards who run International school programs. Currently the funds obtained through these programs are unregulated. In a recent LBPSB meeting, the director of finance admitted that five million dollars came into the school board coffers in one year, yet it is handled as a one line item with no transparency whatsoever. How much is used by administration to shore up their administrative account to make it appear that only 5% is spent on administrative costs? Who knows? Furthermore, how much money is exchanged in the overseas offices of the LBPSB or any other school board? Who knows? What is a certainty is that foreign students, who often pay tens of thousands of dollars to attend these school boards, are placed in the schools classrooms with very little if any support for the teacher. The reality for a teachers classroom is one in which they already deal with discipline problems, integration and oversized classes, now on top of that they get a non-English speaking student  or students to deal with for which the school board gets a tremendous amount of money but none of it , or very little, ending up in the classroom to help the frontline of education; teachers

Yes, Mr. Bolduc carry out your CSDM audit but make it a forensic audit. Even better yet, assign UPAC to investigate the books of every school board in the province and especially check into the financial opaqueness of their International School programs. Our students, our teachers, our principals, our tax payers deserve better. Much better.

Bolduc to get outside audit of CSDM books

Board resists additional
budget reductions

Education Minister Yves Bolduc says an independent financial audit of the province’s largest school board is the only way to determine if it is truly unable to conform to government budget requirements.

JACQUES BOISSINOT/ THE CANADIAN PRESS Education Minister Yves Bolduc is determined to get an “objective evaluation” of board finances.In Montreal on Friday for the opening of a new athletic training complex at Olympic Stadium, Bolduc said an auditor will be named in the coming days and will conduct a thorough review of the Commission scolaire de Montréal’s books.

“At this point, it’s important to have an objective evaluation to summarize their situation,” Bolduc said.

At its latest school commissioners meeting, held this week, the CSDM passed a motion committing itself to a projected $5 million in savings in the coming year, part of which will come from the sale of redundant properties ($4 million). The school board, which has an annual budget of about $980 million but has been running a deficit of nearly $30 million, has argued that repeated cuts in recent years have left it struggling to maintain its programs and services.

But the province said the belt must be tightened further, and instructed CSDM to slice nearly $9 million this coming year.

CSDM president Catherine Harel-Bourdon told reporters on Thursday that the independent auditor will be given complete access to the board’s financials, but that “I don’t get the sense that (the government) really understands us.”

If the auditor sides with the board, Bolduc said Friday, then “we will discuss that with them. (Thursday) I sensed an openness on the part of the CSDM to co-operate and I welcome that co-operation. We will see with the report what actions need to be taken.”

The minister said that if the province encounters refusals from other boards, the response could be similar.

“If other school boards go down the same road, meaning that they do not table a balanced budget which respects the law, we will determine the actions to be taken.”

The English Montreal School Board is looking at $3.8 million in cuts for the coming year.

Bolduc, who has faced increasing pressure from the opposition to resign in recent weeks following revelations that he claimed $215,000 in premiums for taking on new patients (who were subsequently abandoned) while he was a member of the opposition, showed no signs on Friday that he is preparing to leave political life behind. He has stated repeatedly that he will remain in office.

Bolduc said in July he will return some of the bonus money he received, but only for the 400 patients he followed for less than 12 months. In all, he will return $55,072.50 split between the Régie de l’Assurance Maladie du Québec and two charities.

Source: Montreal Gazette Sept 20, 2014

Le rapport du commissaire à l’éthique à la Commission scolaire Lester B.Pearson: les demandeurs remettent en question le jugement

Voici ma traduction d’un communiqué de presse émis par trois citoyens (je fais partie du groupe).  – Michèle Poupore

COMMUNNIQUÉ DE PRESSE

Les trois citoyens qui ont déposé une plainte au commissaire à l’éthique à la Commission scolaire Lester B.Pearson contestent le jugement et le communiqué de presse émis par la commission scolaire Lester B.Pearson. Les allégations du groupe  portaient sur un potentiel conflit d’intérêt de la présidente de la commission scolaire Suanne Stein Day.

Cindy Mac Donald, Michèle Poupore et Luc Horne, les demandeurs, ont annoncé leur ferme intention de contester le jugement de MeGrenier, le communiqué de presse émis par la Commission scolaire Lester B.Pearson ainsi qu’une partie du code d’éthique en vigueur à la commission scolaire.

Après avoir analysé le jugement en profondeur, le groupe compte entreprendre des actions. Entre temps, le groupe tient à divulguer certains détails qui  permettent de suivre l’évolution de ce dossier.

1. Contrairement à ce qui est indiqué dans le communiqué de presse de la commission scolaire et dans le rapport rédigé par MeGrenier, Mme MacDonald, Mme Poupore et M.Horne n’ont pas reçu de courriels les invitant à une seconde rencontre avec Me Grenier. Malgré, l’importance d’assurer un suivi dans ce dossier,  aucune tentative n’a été faite afin de les contacter par voie téléphonique ou par courrier.

2. Ils sont également surpris que la personne chargée de coordonner le dossier à la commission scolaire n’ai pas tenté de les rejoindre.

3. Le 8 septembre, lorsqu’elle a pris contact avec la firme de Me Grenier, Mme Poupore a appris que Me Grenier serait absent, jusqu’à la fin du mois de septembre.

4. M. Horne n’a jamais rencontré Me Grenier, bien qu’il soit un des plaignants dans ce dossier. M.Horne se demande comment une décision légale peut être prise sans le témoignage d’un demandeur. Il souligne l’iniquité dans le traitement de la plainte. La défenderesse dans ce dossier Mme Stein Day, qui agit également à titre de présidente du comité d’éthique à la commission scolaire,  a été contactée à trois reprises.

5. Les trois citoyens se demandent comment il se fait que la commission scolaire ne retrouve pas, un document aussi important [qu'une déclaration d'intérêts].

6. Les trois  citoyens soulignent que le rapport n’est ni daté ni signé par Me Grenier.

Parent group says it will challenge LBPSB Ethics Commissioner ruling.

By: Carmen Marie Fabio  – Your Local Journal

How can a legal decision be made when one of the complainants never had an opportunity to present his testimony?- Complainant Luc Horne

Following the release of a Lester B. Pearson School Board communiqué September 16 announcing that conflict of interest allegations made against LBPSB Chairman Suanne Stein Day have been deemed unfounded by the board’s Ethics Commissioner Bernard Grenier, the complainants issued notice of their intent to challenge the decision.

   Dated September 12, Grenier, of the law firm Schurman, Longo and Grenier, stated in his report that though the supporting documents used by one of the complainants, Cindy MacDonald, covered several aspects of Stein Day’s management as LBSPB Chair, “The analysis in this report will deal strictly with allegations of conflict of interest brought against Mrs. Stein Day.”

   The charges brought by MacDonald, Michèle Poupore, and Luc Horne allege Stein Day’s duties as board chair conflicted with her position as Executive member of the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations (QFHSA). The charges allege Stein Day repeatedly involved herself in discussions and decisions involving membership, and fundraising issues and that she had, “Privileged access to students, schools, and school brokering and contractors’ activities for fundraising purposes, at the expense of class hours, transparency, the community (e.g. potential service providers) and the rights of parents and taxpayers.”

The report detailed Grenier’s subsequent meetings and conversations with both Stein Day and the complainants and said that though he sent two emails to MacDonald and Poupore to set up further meetings, they did not respond. Both women said they never received either email.

Grenier’s report specifies that Stein Day signed an interest disclosure form for the LBPSB – noting LBPSB authorities have had difficulty finding that document – and also signed five interest disclosure forms, one as Director of the QFHSA dated September 6, 2013. Grenier’s report concludes, “The evidence before me does not support allegations taken against Mrs. Stein Day for conflict of interest.”

  Within hours of the school board’s communiqué, the complainants issued a press release outlining their intentions to challenge the ruling. Though the release states the group is still in the process of analyzing the ruling, they are contradicting a number of points made in the Ethics Commissioner’s report alleging they didn’t receive follow-up emails, phone calls, or letters. Furthermore Horne, though named as a complainant says he, was never  interviewed and asks, “How can a legal decision be made when one of  the complainants never had an opportunity to present his testimony?”

Their release concludes with the observation, “…the ruling was not signed by Me. Grenier himself and that the ruling lacked a date which is of importance in terms of how the case has been handled.”

  Reached following the issue of the press release, Horne told Your Local Journal he and his fellow complainants are discussing their next move.

   “Certainly all options are on the table,” he said. “We’re considering political action in terms of school board elections, (contacting) the ministry of education, the ministry of justice, (and) we’re certainly not excluding UPAC (Unité permanente anticorruption).”

Horne also questioned why the legal counsel of the board is responsible for filing all the case documentation and said the ethics commissioner is paid by the very school board against which the complaint has been filed.

LBPSB Code of Ethics contains a “Conflict of Interest” within Its own regulations.

“Of course Ms. Day wasn’t surprised by the ruling, it was never properly conducted. Sounds like Stein Day has Bernard Grenier on her payroll, and that doesn’t surprise me.”  Jerry Bergstein  (Commenting on Global News article – “Complainants to contest LBPSB conflict-of-interest ruling”)

Well, Jerry Bergstein,  you are probably more right than most people might think because Me Grenier is indeed paid for his services as ethics commissioner  by the LBPSB of which Mrs. Stein Day is the chairman and lo and behold  also the chairman of the ethics committee.

How on earth?

Well, the LBPSB code of Ethics is probably your best source:

Note that  Article 7.1 of the LBPSB Code of Ethics states the following:

“Designation of the person charged with the enforcement of the code The Council of Commissioners appoints by resolution, a person responsible for the enforcement of the code. The designated person must be someone who has a professional background in law with at least 10 years experience. The term for the person responsible for the enforcement of the code begins the day of his/her nomination and ends at the end of the term for the members of the Council of Commissioners. As well the Council of Commissioners determines the remuneration of the designated person.

A representative from the directors general’s office, coordinates the work of the person responsible for the enforcement of the code. The representative from the directors general’s office must respect the confidentiality of the information and work performed, and not have any potential or actual conflict of interest.”

So in summary, the LBPSB pays the ethics commissioner who in turn has to rule on submitted ethics complaints filed against the board, the same board from which he/she gets her very pay.

Talk about a conflict of interest condition within  the LBPSB Code of ethics; a code which was established to counter that kind of situation.