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The Province is taking a hard look at the K-12 education system, including the effectiveness of local school divisions.

There are currently 290 school trustees in Manitoba. "I need to be convinced that's the right number," Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen says, adding they will consider consolidating school division in the province.

"Do you have less school divisions? Do you have school divisions at all? The answers to those questions are important to determine how you pay for the system," Goertzen adds.

An eight-person commission will conduct an extensive consultation across the province on a wide range of topics such as student learning, teaching and whether to merge school divisions or get rid of them entirely.

Premier Brian Pallister says a review of the education system has not taken place since the 1960's, "and a lot has changed," he says.

He notes the province is struggling, ranked 10th in student outcomes in science, math, and literacy. "This is not acceptable," Pallister says, adding they are looking for feedback from parents, teachers and business leaders.

For those advocating for local school boards, Pallister says, "we're not going to do things the same old way and finish last, that's not going to happen, but we don't have preconceived notions."

"We've got to be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things," he adds.

The commission will provide its report to Goertzen by February of 2020.

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