Sask NDP says redacted report shows massive gaps in oversight for Qualified Independent Schools

The Official Opposition has responded to a redacted copy of the government administrators’ investigation report into three Qualified Independent Schools (QIS).

The report, obtained through a freedom of information request, shows that administrators discovered significant issues related to finances and curriculum.

It was last year that administrators were assigned to three independent schools. The Grace Christian School, which has since been shut down, Regent Academy, and Legacy Christian Academy.

The administrator’s report of the Grace Christian School found records of teaching duties being assigned to non-teaching staff. The director wasn’t a teacher, was inappropriately in charge of the instructional programming, and was performing the principal’s duties.

It was also noted that the named principal no longer worked at the school and that another named principal could not describe administrative duties that had been carried out.

They also reviewed the school registration procedures that indicated students with learning challenges or special needs would not be admitted.

The administrator had instructed the director to recuse himself from all dealings with the school. The former director then took some materials and records that the administrator had identified for retention by the Ministry of Education.

The report and investigation into the Legacy Christian Academy was the most redacted of the three reports.

The report states, “(Redacted) is a former teacher. (Redacted) stood up for students when the school went too far.”

“Students were told that they had to report issues with other students, and if you didn’t, you were as guilty as the student doing something ‘wrong.’”

The administrator reviewed the school curriculum, which consisted of PACE (Packet of Accelerated Christian Education) booklets, and ensured it aligned with the Saskatchewan curriculum. They said that teachers identified gaps within the PACE booklets and planned to address them.

The report also stated that the administrator requested to speak with the school board several times and still had no indication of a meeting being lined up.

The administrator also worked with Mile Two Church Inc. to get all financial documentation for the past ten years related to the school sent to the Ministry of Education for review but noted that the organization needed to separate that documentation from the church’s financials.

The administrator’s report and investigation into Regent Academy found nothing out of the ordinary.

Sask. NDP Leader Carla Beck said these reports still say a lot despite heavy redactions.

“What they reveal is a government that was completely dishonest when they characterized the oversight that was occurring in these schools.”

Education Critic Matt Love issues the same sentiments as Beck, stating there was a lot of damming information in the report.

“They show very clearly that dealing with some of the former directors of qualified independent schools was challenging,” he said. “These directors clearly did not want these administrations to see what was going on behind the scenes.”

“We see that officials reviewed the school registration process, which indicated that students with learning challenges or special needs would not be admitted to these schools for those complex needs,” he continued. “We learned that there appears to be a number of financial issues, especially around the accumulation of a surplus in a reserve fund.”

Love added that he would like to see the reports issued with redactions as there is a significant public interest in them and that taxpayer money is going toward these schools.

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