NS Liberal Party Members Vote To Do Away With English Language School Boards

Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2016 11:05 AM

The days could be numbered for school boards in Nova Scotia.

The Nova Scotia Liberal Party membership passed a resolution at their annual general meeting in April to eliminate english language school boards.

They are calling on the government to replace them with a single provincial school board.

The party membership points to the province's history of dealing with school boards including firing or disbanding ones in Halifax, the South Shore and Strait.

The resolution would need to be approved by the Nova Scotia government.

Department of Education Spokesperson Michelle Lucas says not all resolutions become policy.

She adds, at this time, government has made no decision around the status of school boards.

The full resolution by the Nova Scotia Liberal Party is listed below or is located on their website here.

Nova Scotia School Boards

WHEREAS in November 2015 when the Province of Prince Edward Island announced the elimination of the PEI English Language School Board, this decision was met with wide ranging approval from PEI Teachers, the PEI Home and School Association and even the Opposition Tories.

WHEREAS a group in Newfoundland have recently called for the elimination of School Boards in NL stating "Use the New Brunswick model to manage education directly from the government without the pseudo-over-sight of an elected School Board. As a past trustee I feel the existence of an elected Board was a complete waste of time and money. Let the staff and department run the education system (which they are doing anyway) without having to entertain the Trustees."

WHEREAS as reported by Paul Bennett of Schoolhouse Consulting, "School board reduction or total elimination is on the public agenda as citizens see it as an obvious cost-saving measure. Regional or district school boards have become remote to most citizens and taxpayers....today's elected School Board trustees are basically limited to advocacy and 'rubber-stamping' monthly staff reports."

WHEREAS the sentimental view that School Boards provide 'local input' to offset Provincial decisions, no longer exists as School Boards themselves are no longer 'local'

WHEREAS we are seeing many school buildings deteriorating to the point of being destroyed well before their time, because School Boards avoid the responsibility of building maintenance since it is less costly to the School Board to wait for the Province to build a new school building, since the Province is responsible for funding new school construction, thus leading to wasting scarce taxpayers funds.

WHEREAS Nova Scotia has a sad history of dealing with schools boards including the firing or disbanding entire School Boards in Halifax, the South Shore and the Strait Area, as well as having to deal with issues related to questionable or unauthorized spending.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Government of Nova Scotia take immediate action to eliminate our present English Language School Boards and replace them with a single provincial school board with responsibility to advise government on matters related to public schools and education of importance to parents and the people of Nova Scotia.

BE IT THEREFORE FURTHER RESOLVED that the Government study and implement other mechanisms to ensure that parents find avenues to have their voices heard within the management of their local school.

BE IT THEREFORE FURTHER RESOLVED that the Government of Nova Scotia use the resources currently expended on School Board matters to put more funding into the front line of teaching and learning for the youth of Nova Scotia