Concerned over impact of another amalgamation

My name is Omar Murray and I am a school bus driver from Maple Creek. I am very concerned about the changes mentioned in the Perrins Governance Review Report.

I can hardly believe these ideas, which completely demolish our school system, were developed in a three week span. These are recommendations that need to be deliberated and well thought out, not a stop gap measure intended to save a few bucks; with the expense being the quality of student education.
I am concerned with the impact the proposed restructuring will have on students, labour relations and the communities we all live in. School divisions that are geographically too large will be less responsive to students, their families and communities. I am aware of the issues of large school divisions as I live and work in Chinook School Division and have seen problems that would be magnified exponentially.
Even worse, with appointed school divisions, there will be less engagement and accountability for education services at the community level. People living in the rural areas have a concern about appointed board members losing all reason for responsibility to the population they are intended to serve.
I don’t see how these options “Will focus on student success while ensuring accountability and efficient operational structures within the education system”.
I also find the lack of any meaningful consultation appalling.
There’s no evidence or report that states amalgamated/re-structured school boards and government appointed trustee’s and CEO, will save money. It will only guarantee that the parents, workers and communities have no voice. As a citizen of a rural community I see a greater division between us and the urban areas, just another way to disenfranchise us.
I urge this panel, and the government to put the needs of students first and not move forward with this misguided reorganization.
Omar Murray – Maple Creek