Saturday, April 17, 2010

Educational Democracy - 1881 Style

We came across the following Blyth news item in the Huron Expositor of October 21, 1881.

It illustrates what has happened to our education system as a result of our school board's complete loss of connection with community in matters dealing with our schools. Here is the item:

TEACHERS AND SALARIES - With a view, no doubt, of lessening the national debt, the salaries of our Public School teachers have been reduced. The Principal, Mr. Henderson, who heretofore received $500, is now only offered $475 per annum, of course merely as a recognition of his past efficient services. The two lady teachers, who were allowed $265, are now being raised backwards to $235. This step has elicited public dissatisfaction in a very marked way. A petition signed by the large majority of the ratepayers, praying that the salaries be left at the usual figure, was presented at the trustee meeting last Saturday evening, where it was moved and seconded that it be filed, but an amendment having been moved to the effect that the petition be laid over for consideration was withdrawn. It is hoped that our trustees, who are certainly elected to carry out the wishes of the ratepayer, will in this instance show their good judgment by acceding to the unmistakable evidence of public opinion, and grant the prayer of the petitioners.

In 2009/2010, Avon Maitland District School Board commits "educational abuse" on Blyth with no compunction and without explanation or even a "we're sorry". In 1881, the boundaries of the school board were identical to the boundaries of the community. If the school board of 1881 did not reverse their decision, you can bet that the board for 1882 will have had a very different membership and will undoubtedly have taken a different stand on the salary issue.

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