News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

May 28, 2021


Input from Manitobans Crucial to Improving Education System: Cullen

More than 5,300 Winnipeggers participated in the first of four telephone town halls with education officials providing parents and caregivers an opportunity to discuss and ask questions about the government’s Better Education Starts Today strategy to improve Manitoba’s education system, Education Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“Participants had the opportunity to discuss a number of topics including the structure of school community councils, the role of parents and the parent engagement officers, as well as resources and supports that will be required,” said Cullen. “This included the use of technology and other supports to ensure diverse perspectives are considered including the availability of child-care at meetings. I encourage Manitobans to participate in the town halls and to be informed about the task force work of shaping the roles and responsibilities of the new School Community Councils and identify strategies to increase parental participation in shaping the future of education in Manitoba.”

The minister noted research clearly demonstrates the critical importance of engaging parents and caregivers in their children’s learning and in school level planning including improved student outcomes, increased attendance and higher graduation rates. The Kindergarten to Grade 12 Commission on Education also emphasized the importance of parent engagement in improving student outcomes and well-being.  A live poll during the town hall indicated majority of people taking part said it was very important for parents and/or caregivers have a role in children’s kindergarten to Grade 12 education. In another poll question, a majority of participants agree that parents should have a way to engage directly with their child’s school on matters that effect children’s education.

“We want to involve parents, teachers and principals who know what our children need to excel and where more resources and support is needed as work to improve outcomes,” said Cullen. “The town hall included discussions about moving to funding education through general revenues instead of property taxes, ensuring that all community voices are heard and how to improve that, and how parental involvement improves student outcomes.”

The Parent Engagement Task Force is designed to listen to parents and caregivers to inform the design and supports around School Community Councils and the future of parent engagement; to consult with parent advisory councils, and school leaders and education stakeholders; and to put forward recommendations to inform future work. The task force consists of parents, community and school leaders, and members of the legislative assembly.

“We support and appreciate teachers and principals who work hard every day to ensure high-quality education, and are committed to investing and doing more to make the classroom experience better for Manitoba’s students,” added Cullen. “We want to engage parents in this work, but we know how busy they are so we want to find new ways to engage them that respects their time and commitments.”

The second telephone town hall is scheduled for Monday, June 7 and will focus on northern Manitobans’ concerns about the future of education in their area. The focus of the June 15 telephone town hall will be Brandon and rural areas, with a fourth and final session slated for Winnipeg June 23.

For more information on the engagement plans, visit and for more information on the Parent Engagement Task Force and the latest information on the Better Education Starts Today strategy, visit

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