MONTREAL (Feb. 17)
A bill to be filed soon in the Quebec Legislature will pave the way for Jewish membership on the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal for the first time in the 40-year history of the school board, it was announced here today.
The bill would authorize an increase in membership of the board from 16 to 25, of whom five would be Jews. T.P. Howard, attorney for the school board, and Samuel Godinsky, attorney for the Canadian Jewish Congress, said they saw no obstacles to early passage. The board had agreed unanimously to seek authority for board membership increase to have Jewish members.
Previously it had been believed that it was legally impossible to have Jewish members on the school board without constitutional changes in the British North America Act. Jewish leaders have criticized the system under which Jewish children attend schools under Protestant auspices, since there are no overall public schools as in the United States. It was felt that there were enough Jewish children in the Protestant-directed schools to warrant Jewish representation on the school board. About 17, 500 of the 65, 000 children in the Montreal Protestant schools this year are Jewish.