Merge Colleges into School Boards >> Advent Policy Brief #2

Education is a recurring theme in this set of Advent Policy Briefs. In general, I'm a fan of burning down and building back better, but Ontario's education system stokes this urge like no other public affair.

The Catholic school boards need to end. It's f*cking 2022, and public money still pays for problematic religious education. Only the GPO has a standing policy calling for the the unification and secularization of the present 4 school boards into 2 sets of English and French boards covering the whole province.

While we're rebuilding the education system...

Let's consider merging the province's community colleges into the school boards they geographically reside within. Fire all the boards of governors at the colleges, and have college executives report to elected school board trustees instead. Colleges would retain their academic Senate duties.

Hear me out.

Benefit 1: seamless admission for graduating students.

Benefit 2: access to college credits for gifted high school students.

Benefit 3: civic engagement. 
  • School Board Elections would matter *a lot* more. I'm very sold on the Ottawa example of this model: their French board would get La Cite and their English board would annex Algonquin. Bringing the college communities into the school board election would bring out exceptional candidates and make student voting a priority engagement activity.
Benefit 4: meet local skill demand by streaming trades and STEM-inclined students through high school.

Benefit 5: economies of scale. Merger would mean increased buying power and elimination of duplicated administration.

I acknowledge that the administration of multiple campuses would create a conflict. Algonquin has a Pembroke campus. It's not reasonable to assume that the Pembroke campus could survive as an independent college. In these situations, the trustees of the boards representing the flagship campus and satellite campuses could sign memoranda of understanding ceding the satellite campuses to the jurisdiction of the board of governing the flagship campus. 

In absence of understanding, the board physically representing the campus would have jurisdiction. If Pembroke wanted to make their Algonquin campus a new college under their direction, they would have that right.

If Ontario's school boards weren't headed towards an inevitable merger, this suggestion would be impractical, but there's a mega restructuring coming. The product of that restructuring may as well include colleges.

Four election boxes with the second checked. Instead of candidate names beside the check boxes text reads "School Board Elections"