Ontario government moving forward to improve accountability and transparency in publicly funded schools

The new powers sought by the Minister of Education come at a time when school boards are coming under fire for being out of control, prioritizing ideology over actual education.

Ontario government moving forward to improve accountability and transparency in publicly funded schools
Facebook/ Stephen Lecce (Image Left)
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The Ontario Ministry of Education is introducing legislation that will grant the minister additional powers to address individual school board discrepancies.

Legislative changes being proposed by Education Minister Stephen Lecce under The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act will aim to increase accountability and transparency across the province's education sector.

The intention of the act is to unify Ontario’s 72 school boards under a singular focus, with the aim of improving student outcomes in skills like reading, writing, and math, stated the backgrounder notice issued earlier this week.

“School boards are not consistently working toward the same priorities. School board performance varies across the province on indicators related to literacy, math, graduation and student attendance,” the notice reads.

Minister Lecce would be able to set provincial priorities around student achievement, compel school boards to make ministry required reports public, and require school board reports on funding and spending with the aim of strengthening financial accountability.

“We also know that parents and students need more tools for transparency and accountability,” it further reads.

The legislation mandates enhanced training for school board trustees and Directors of Education, and would establish a new process for resolving code of conduct complaints through an impartial Integrity Commissioner-led process.

The new legislation would allow the Minister of Education to "leverage excess school board property for other provincial priorities such as affordable housing or long-term care space."

Included in the proposal is a collaboration with the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) to reduce teacher certification times by half – a process that the OCT says they aim to complete within 120 days.

This legislation comes at a time that Ontario school boards are under fire for soliciting the gender identity and sexual orientation of minors in school surveys, who have made sexual deviance detailing content readily available in school libraries, and have failed to protect children against inappropriately dressed teachers – all under the guise of tolerance and inclusivity.

School boards all around the province have repeatedly silenced parents from delegating at board meetings, including Ottawa father Nick Morabito who expressed concern over anyone who self-identifies as female being able to access the same bathroom as his daughters.

Teachers who dare speak out against radical ideologies are guilted into submission by way of smearing, adding hominem attacks, or are censored and punished.

The victim asked if the legislation would “fire all DEI staff, end all contracts with woke consultants, remove all ministry and board policies that compel teachers to endorse belief systems such as anti-racism and equity, and put an end to CRRP and SEL programs?”

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies have been increasingly persistent in the public education sector since 2009, when the government introduced Ontario’s equity and inclusive education strategy.

While the funding guide link appears to be broken, it is noted that the “Ministry agreed to provide school boards with guidelines for policy development as well as four million dollars in funding” in a review by senior researcher Peter Jon Mitchell, who works with the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada.

The Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy (CRRP) is part of a government's mandated inclusive education framework that seeks to connect students' learning to their background, language, family structure and social or cultural identity.

Social emotional learning (SEL) skills are an explicit component of learning in the elementary health and physical education curriculum, as per the Ontario Ministry of Education.

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