Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange is seen in an April 30, 2019, file photo.

JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

An independent review has found the Calgary Board of Education focuses too much on protecting individual members, and not enough on its broader mission and long-term finances.

“Over all, the findings are indicative of an organization that has undergone turmoil at the governance level with a focus on process over function and a short-term view of financial sustainability,” accounting firm Grant Thornton wrote in a report released Thursday.

Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange issued a ministerial order, effective immediately, based on 19 recommendations in the report.

Story continues below advertisement

They include hiring a minister-approved governance instructor and evaluating ways to reduce risks associated with the pricey headquarters building the board leases in downtown Calgary.

It also recommends the board consider eliminating all half days to save on transportation costs and do an updated salary survey.

“The overall findings lead me to believe that there is a dire need for improvement,” Ms. LaGrange said.

“Perhaps the most concerning of all is the finding that the board’s short-term view focused more on protecting individuals on the board rather than fulfilling their overall mission.”

Ms. LaGrange said the board has until Nov. 30 to meet all recommendations or trustees will be fired.

She said it’s a realistic target, even as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps schools shuttered. The Minister added she debriefed with trustees Wednesday and they have already begun to act.

The Calgary Board of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Story continues below advertisement

Ms. LaGrange ordered the $125,000 financial audit and governance review of the province’s biggest public school board last fall.

She said at the time she was disappointed the board announced it would lay off more than 300 contract teachers instead of working with her ministry to find other ways to cover a $32-million budget shortfall.

The teacher cuts were averted after the province allowed a $15-million infrastructure and maintenance renewal grant to be repurposed.

At the time, Ms. LaGrange accused the board of “reckless misuse of taxpayer dollars.” She pointed to its decision to enter into an expensive 20-year lease for its new head office almost a decade ago as an example.

The Grant Thornton report did not use language nearly that strong to describe the improvements it said should be made.

It highlighted some things the board has done well, such as keeping maintenance and planning costs in line with other big-city school boards and having appropriate procurement practices.

Story continues below advertisement

Sarah Hoffman, the NDP Opposition’s education critic, said the review is about finding someone else to blame for education cuts made by the United Conservatives government.

“About 5,000 new students are expected to attend CBE schools next year and their total funding is still less than it was under the last NDP budget,” she said in a statement.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Follow related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies