Public needs more information on schools review
Montague – Now that the first round of public meetings on the MacLauchlan government’s school closure plan have wrapped up government needs to keep its word and publicly release more detailed information asked for by parents, says Georgetown-St. Peters MLA and Opposition Education Critic Steven Myers.
"Parents and the public were very engaged at the sessions held on the MacLauchlan government’s school closure plan. There were a lot of very good questions asked of government that they weren’t able to answer. There was a commitment made at those meetings to share that information with parents and government needs to follow through on that right away because the government’s timetable is so tight,” says Myers.
Meetings were held with parents and the public in affected school families and many of the questions raised covered common themes, including:
* Data on how many students attend schools outside their designated zone;
* Detailed information on the physical condition of schools, including air and water quality data;
* Baseline information on what programs and services a school should have along with current inventory of programs and services offered in Island schools;
* Information on school transportation such as bus routes, travel distances and travel times for students;
* Student assessment data by schools;
“A lot of the same questions came up at the different school family meetings. Releasing that information is needed so that parents can make the strongest case to improve the learning environment for our students and pursue excellence in education. That was supposed to be the point of the exercise rather than a cost cutting measure," says Morell-Mermaid MLA Sidney MacEwen.
Since many of the same questions were raised in different school families Myers and MacEwen suggested the easiest way to share the information with parents would be to post it to the government’s open data portal.