Trustee urges public to speak up on school divisions review

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By Joel van der Veen

KENASTON — John Collins has a message for anyone interested in the future of Saskatchewan’s public education system: now’s the time to speak your mind.

The trustee, who represents Davidson and area on the board of education for Sun West School Division, said people with an opinion on the subject should voice it.

“It’s better if it comes straight from the voters’ mouths to their local MLA,” Collins said Thursday. “If we don’t say anything, we can’t really complain at the end of it.”

Changes may be on the horizon for the structure of school divisions in the province.

Dan Perrins, a former deputy minister, presented a report on school governance to education minister Don Morgan in December.

In addition to history and context, the report offered three primary options for governance structures for the minister’s consideration.

Morgan then appointed a six-person panel to consult with stakeholders throughout the month of January, both in face-to-face meetings and through online submissions from the public.

The panel is expected to present its findings to the minister this month, with a public announcement to follow.

The province currently has 28 school divisions, each governed by elected boards of education, and a total K-12 student population of roughly 176,000.

Options identified by Perrins include a provincial model with a single public school board and an advisory board operating alongside it.

A regional model would set up four public boards of education, while a third model would restructure the current divisions into between eight and 14 new divisions.

Morgan has also indicated that the province could choose to stay with the status quo.

Collins said he has heard from a few people about the review, though not as many as he expected.

“I think it’s a pretty important piece that everybody needs to be aware of,” he said. “Everybody that has a vested interest should be talking to their MLA, or letting the government know what they think.”

Collins represents Subdivision 6 in Sun West School Division, which includes the schools in Davidson, Kenaston and Loreburn.

The subdivision also includes colony schools at Loreburn and Clear Springs and the Distance Learning Centre (DLC) in Kenaston.

For the full story, please see the Feb. 13 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

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