According to the Act, the Parents’ Committee must “give its opinion to the school board on any matter the latter is required to submit to it” (Education Act, s. 192 (4)). The Parents’ Committee must by obligation be consulted on ten points (Education Act, s. 193). In other words, the school board cannot take action in the following areas without being advised by the Parents’ Committee:
• The division, annexation or amalgamation of school board territory.
• The three-year plan of allocation and destination of school board immovables, the list of schools and the deeds of establishment (yearly):
- With the current scarcity of resources, parents must be attentive to cost cutting measures that can have positive or negative effect on the quality of services.
- This may also impact the location of an establishment.
• The policy in respect of the continued operation or closing of schools:
- The school board is required to adopt such a policy (Education Act, s. 212).
- The Parents’ Committee must ensure that the school board has such a policy and must closely monitor its application.
• The distribution of educational services among the schools:
- What services are there in each school? In what proportion are they offered? These are important questions concerning access to different services: teaching services related to the study programs, special needs services, complementary services provided for in the basic school regulation such as psychology, speech therapy, etc.
• The criteria for the enrolment of students in schools (yearly):
- Parents, who are familiar with how a school board operates, know to what extent this element also has major repercussions on the school and the family. You can refer to sections 239 and 240 of the Education Act to get a general idea of the scope of this item.
• The school calendar (yearly):
- The Parents’ Committee can ensure that the impact of the school calendar on students and families is taken into account, even though this calendar is often determined by the working conditions set out in collective agreements.
• Budgetary Consultation governing the allocation of subsidies, school tax proceeds and other revenues among educational institutions as well as the criteria pertaining thereto (yearly):
- With amendments to the Education Act the school board must now distribute all its revenues to the schools, except for what is needed to fulﬁl its own mission.
- The school board’s obligation in this matter is clearly set out in section 275 of the Education Act.