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Another Step Toward Yesterday's Schools

3 December 2003
Another Step Toward Yesterday's Schools

Giving the Secretary for Education the power to cut the pay of striking teachers is a dangerous step, Education Forum policy advisor Norman LaRocque said today.

"Boards are currently the meat in the sandwich: they can decide whether or not to dock a teacher's pay cheque for striking, but aren't privy to the negotiations between teachers and the Ministry of Education.

"There are two possible solutions. The first is to devolve funding to schools and give boards the power to set teacher salaries. This would lead to greater community control and localised flexibility.

"The second option is to increase centralisation - and that is what this government has done. The Secretary for Education will now not only be in charge of negotiating with teachers, but will also have the power to cut their pay if those negotiations hit a bump. That's a retrograde step. What powers will the Commissar of Schooling be given next?

"Schools need less centralisation, not more. While some boards will be relieved at no longer being stuck in the middle, this is a firm step backward for school self-management and another step toward Yesterday's Schools.

ENDS


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