“The LBPSB International program has never been transparent and the school board has a lot of explaining to do.” Pearson Teacher Association president.

Global News

LBPSB teacher’s union president speaks out on school board scandals.

The president of the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) teacher’s union, Heidi Yetman, is speaking out about a scandal that has shaken the English-language school board this fall.

After months of closed door discussions by the council of commissioners at LBPSB over ethical breaches by an unnamed commissioner, its chair Suanne Stein Day confirmed she was at the centre of the controversy on Nov. 28.

Following the revelation, education minister Sébastien Proulx announced an independent audit of the school board.

The minister also announced he would ask the province’s anti-corruption squad, to investigate the school board’s  International Department.

In a blog post on the LBPSB teacher’s union website, Yetman wrote:

“I’ve always mistrusted the International Program. Before being elected as the president of PTU, I had attended many Education Policies Committee meetings and I had asked: How much money does the International Program make? Where is all the money?”

“Why aren’t the teachers getting the support they need? Why aren’t these students getting any English second language classes? My questions were never answered.”

Yetman added: “Last year, there were over 1000 International students in the vocational and youth sectors. I was able to obtain a copy of a letter for a student enrolled in a two-year vocational program and the tuition fees were $23,000 plus $1,600 in insurance fees. You do the math! This program has never been transparent and the school board has a lot of explaining to do.”

PTU President, Heidi Yetman, interview.

1 Comment on "“The LBPSB International program has never been transparent and the school board has a lot of explaining to do.” Pearson Teacher Association president."

  1. This Letter to the Editor of Your Local Journal was published on July 9, 2015

    ( http://www.yourlocaljournal.ca )

    Dear Editor,

    “Cash cow” and “money-maker” were two terms used to describe the Lester B. Pearson School Board International School, in response to a question raised by Parent Commissioner Frank Clarke at the Executive Committee meeting, on July 6, 2015.

    The request for financial details could not have come at a better time as Montreal Island homeowners recently received their school-tax bill with its 3.9 per cent increase, and the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) passed a budget showing a surplus, thanks to its International School.

    No question these schools are “very lucrative,” as Pearson board Chairperson Suanne Stein Day said in a televised CBC news report last March concerning budget cuts, “we’re going to do everything we can to protect the services to our students, especially our most vulnerable students, those with special needs, where annually we spend $4 to $5 million more than we’re funded.”

    That said though, for years, it has always been very difficult to find specific details about the LBPSB’s international school network. I was not at all happy with the answer given to Mr. Clarke.

    This year, when the Pearson board passes its budget, it should clearly itemize all facts and figures, in its Annual Report, concerning all aspects of its International Schools.

    Chris Eustace
    Pierrefonds

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