To the Editor:

In the 1980s, I was a member of the local Pictou town school board as one of two town council members who represented the council.  The school board also had two appointed members to represent the provincial government and two members who were elected by the voters of Pictou.  Our board had one staff member who reported to us, the school superintendent, Fred Turley.

Things have sure changed in the years since then.  But I had cause to reflect this week on these matters when reading about our new town council’s concerns over what is being considered with regard to Pictou Academy and Pictou’s P-12 school system.

In my day, school issues were very much town issues.  Council had direct representation on the school board; the schools were town institutions; school taxes were collected locally which helped to pay their bills and, all the school board members actually lived in town.
Now, when I hear that the Education minister is actually abdicating her decision-making power to close Pictou Academy to the school board, none of whom live in Pictou, and with the town having no say in the matter, that strikes me as an extreme abuse of power.

I sure hope the law passed by an earlier legislation is strong enough to prevent that abuse.

Ralph Ferguson

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