Member’s Statement: Setting up an Education Commission – 17 February 2016

All too often, when governments change, they turn the education system on its head, creating turmoil for administrators, teachers and for students.  This government is creating a 10 year education plan, to try and get the politics out of the education. I think it’s a good idea, but it doesn’t go far enough. I’ve been consulting with constituents in my community with students in the schools around Fredericton South because I sit on the advisory committee to the education commission which is developing the ten year strategy. One of the ideas that came forward, is to establish an education commission to create a buffer between the politicians and the education system. The idea would be to take a portion of the department of education and convert it into a commission that would be arms-length from government and it could implement the ten year education strategy. This was proposed back in the 1960s by the Byrne Commission that brought us equal opportunity under Louis Robichaud. It wasn’t implemented but it was a good idea then and it’s a good idea today. I think we should establish an education commission to create that buffer to keep the politics out of our education system and to implement successfully the new ten year education strategy when it arrives this summer.