As of September 2013, parents in the Peel Region of Canada will have to enter their children in a lottery for a chance at French Immersion. The trustees voted
unanimously on Tuesday, September 25 to introduce a French Immersion lottery and to drop the hours of French education from 85% to 50% in grade one. The only amendment that was made to the original proposal was to introduce a grandfather clause ensuring that children with a sibling currently in French Immersion would not have to enter the lottery.
There was no opportunity for the public to voice their concerns at the meeting prior to the vote but the trustees appeared to have their mind made up and were more enthusiastic with retirement wishes to a colleague than the issue at hand. Janet McDougald, the Chair of the Board, said “French Immersion is a choice not a right,” in reference to the decision and is fine with dropping to the lowest possible acceptance standard by law.
Parents outside of the Peel District should be equally concerned. “I know that most boards are reviewing the delivery of their programs for the exact same reasons we did,” says McDougald.
The decision has been made but we’d love to hear your thoughts on what parents should do to voice their concerns.