Thursday, January 17, 2008

Board Decision re: school closure motion

On Tuesday evening, the motion I put forward regarding reviewing the school closure process and imposing a moratorium on school closures was debated. Prior to the debate, we discussed a very comprehensive report which provided a historical overview of Edmonton Public School Board's work in this area.

The debate was extensive and revealed the complexity of the issue. Many different points of view were articulated by the Board. As well, seven members of the public voiced their opinions and concerns (there is a Board policy which allows anyone to speak to a topic on the agenda for two minutes, providing they advise the Board Secretary of their desire to speak previous to the day).

Achieving consensus was challenging work and many amendments were proposed to the motion. In the end, the motion was split into two parts: (1) the Ad Hoc Committee to review the process and (2) the moratorium. As well, specific details about what the committee would address were removed and the language of the motion was modified to address various concerns expressed by the trustees.

The final result, after the lengthy debate, was the Review Committee passed and the moratorium was defeated. Both votes were very close.

I am looking forward to the establishment of the committee. I feel confident that its work will be significant, constructive and meaningful.

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