March 9, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Halifax, NS – On Thursday, March 8, 2018, Bill 72, An Act to Reform the Administration of the Public Education System, introduced by the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development was passed by a vote of 25 to 21. Bill 72 will mark the dissolution of the seven regional English school boards in Nova Scotia.
“The Nova Scotia School Boards Association and school board members across the province are devastated by the adoption of Bill 72,” said Dave Wright, Vice President of the Nova Scotia School Boards Association. “The loss of elected, local and diverse voice in public education is a tragedy. Governing school boards brought together individuals from all different backgrounds who came together to serve the public. We are not specialists in any one area of education – that is the role of staff. Governing school board members are intended to represent their communities, and for us that included students and families.”
As per the Act, the seven English school boards will be dissolved effective March 31, 2018. The Conseil scolaire acadien provincial will remain in place with a new piece of legislation. Their role in representing minority language is protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“The loss of elected members across the province will result in a lack of community voice and decision making, a lack of influence. Governing boards are greatly different from advisory councils who do not have decision making abilities,” said Mr. Wright. “Governing school board members met in public to debate serious issues that affected students, staff and communities. This level of transparency has been removed.”