New School Board Governance Model
Department of Education (to March 26, 2013)
April 22, 2004 4:31 PM
Quality education for students will continue to be the priority
as the South Shore, Tri-County and Strait district school boards
move to regional school board status in August 2004.
Cabinet approved today, April 22, the recommendation to move the
district boards to regional status in time for the fall 2004
school board elections.
In 2000, the former Southwest Regional School Board was split
into two district boards: the Tri-County and South Shore pilot
district educational boards. These district boards shared a
regional service provider, which was responsible for managing
facilities, transportation, human resources and providing
financial services support. The arrangement allowed the Tri-
County and South Shore boards to focus on education.
This structure, separating facility and administrative support
from educational matters, was extended to the Strait in 2002. The
legislation that enabled both pilot boards will expire in October
The amendment to move these boards back to regional status, with
responsibility for both education and facilities, will be
introduced under the Financial Measures Act in this legislative
session. It will include a provision that will allow the South
Shore and Tri-County boards to share administrative services.
Tri-County supports such an approach. The Strait's configuration
is not conducive to the shared services model.
"The Tri-County, South Shore and Strait school boards have all
worked hard throughout the pilot projects to deliver a quality
education to students in their districts," said Education
Minister Jamie Muir. "The new model will respect their work to
date and provide for continued success."
The South Shore, Tri-County and Strait boards have all asked to
revert to regional board status, but agreement about the new
administrative structure how, the new boards will operate has
only been reached with the Strait board.
Discussions continue with the Tri-County and South Shore boards.
Representatives of these school boards and senior staff from the
Department of Education have met many times over the past four
months to explore how to best establish a regional board without
adding additional administrative costs that could divert funding
from the classroom. The meetings were the opportunity for the
boards to contribute to new governance structures that would be
sustainable over time. A shared services model was discussed.
"We know that shared services will work in the South Shore, but
we're not satisfied that the proposals we've seen will protect
resources for the classroom," said Mr Muir. "There is more work
to be done."
The department's analysis found that the proposals from the Tri-
County and South Shore school boards were not sustainable and had
insufficient support services for information technology, human
resources and finance. The omissions would have a negative impact
on the delivery of education programs to students and support
services to staff.
For example, the most recent proposal from the boards for two
full-service models, showed a need for at least $700,000 in
additional operational costs to make it sustainable and provide
necessary support services.
The department was concerned this shortfall in funding could
translate into salaries for at least 12 teachers. In addition,
about $300,000 in one-time transition costs were not considered
and seven jobs could have been eliminated in the South Shore
office. The proposal did not include a plan to place these staff
elsewhere. This proposal was not accepted.
The department intends to work closely with the South Shore and
Tri-County boards to help them develop shared services that will
be effective and have the proper accountabilities in place. Part
of the discussion will include reviewing shared service models in
"The department shares responsibility with the school boards to
make the new governance model work," said Mr. Muir. "We will work
together to ensure a smooth transition for students, staff,
parents and others."
Meetings with the Tri County and South Shore board
representatives will continue in the coming weeks.
FOR BROADCAST USE:
The Tri-County, South Shore and Strait school district
school boards are about to change.
They'll all become regional school boards this August. And
quality education for students is the reason for the change.
The provincial cabinet made the decision today (April 22nd).
The change to regional school board status means the boards
will take back responsibility for managing their facilities,
transportation, for finance and human resources.
For the last few years, those services had been looked after
by a separate service provider, while the boards concentrated on
educating their students.
The South Shore and Tri-County boards will share those
The province has agreement with the Strait board on how it's
all going to work -- including the organizational structure.
There's no agreement yet with the Tri-County and South Shore
boards. Education Minister Jamie Muir says he wants to be sure
that the new structure doesn't add any administrative costs that
might take money out of the classroom.
Contact: Sue McKeage
Department of Education
jal April 22, 2004 4:29 P.M.