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EMSB rejects parents’ bid
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 12 mai 2011

Photo: Marie Cicchini

Royal Vale School is one of the schools targeted for restructuring.

At yet another emotionally charged meeting on April 13 English Montreal School Board (EMSB) commissioners rejected a motion by parents to scrap the consultation process on school closures and start all over again.

Seven schools in the EMSB are slated for possible closure, while another seven schools and programs may be relocated, pending a public consultation process beginning in January 2012.

But parents claim that the board’s decision-making has been flawed and biased because the same criteria were not applied to each school’s proposal when deciding which schools should go into consultation.

But EMSB chairperson Angela Mancini said there has been nothing wrong with the process. “The bottom line is we need to close schools,” she said.
So far, Quebec’s Education Minister Line Beauchamp is backing the board. Beauchamp issued a statement saying that she has confidence in the board to do these consultations despite the conflict now enveloping it.

However, many parents take a very different view. Carlyle School parents are a case in point. Initially, Carlyle had been taken off the consultation list, then put back on it based on a technicality, when commissioner Agostino Cannavino requested a second vote because he had been out of the room for part of the time when the first vote was called.

Carlyle’s students may be moved to Coronation School in Côte-des-Neiges, putting their enriched International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program in jeopardy, prompting commissioner Liz Leaman to publicly question whether or not the second vote is legally receivable.

[ Deborah Rankin ]

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