News Release Archive

  Education and Culture Minister John MacEachern introduced a
  new Education Bill into the House of Assembly today,
  providing the legislative framework for education reforms,
  which were over two years in the making and shaped by
  thousands of Nova Scotians.
  The bill, which combines the current Education Act and
  School Boards Act, is the first major overhaul of the
  education legislation in 40 years.
  Mr. MacEachern thanked the many Nova Scotians for their
  contributions. "I personally travelled to communities across
  the province, meeting with every school board at least
  twice, and with 3,500 Nova Scotians on the White Paper
  alone. My staff met with and considered written comments
  from thousands more."
  "As a result, we have a bill focused on the needs of
  students, from promoting safe, orderly schools to directing
  every possible dollar to the classroom," the minister said.
  Partnerships and shared responsibilities are a major theme
  in the bill. The bill provides for school advisory councils,
  bringing all partners together to support student success
  within the school. Roles and responsibilities for all
  education partners, including parents, students and support
  staff, are also defined, increasing local decision-making
  and building accountability by defining what needs to done
  in education and who is responsible for doing it.
  The bill promotes equity for all students. Allister Surette,
  policy advisor on Acadian and Francophone governance, said
  the new bill creates the first Conseil Scolaire Acadien
  Provincial. "Through provincial governance and local school
  councils, the bill means better opportunities for excellence
  in education for Acadian and Francophone students," Mr.
  Surette said.
  The province's first Council on African-Canadian Education
  will also be created. The council will recommend on public
  school and adult education programs and services that
  promote the rights and interests of African-Nova Scotians.
  The bill also strengthens the commitment to students with
  special needs, to be reinforced by a new provincial special
  education policy now being finalized.
  The bill supports safe, orderly schools. Principals and
  teachers, in consultation with parents, will have increased
  authority for discipline in their schools, consistent with
  the provincial discipline policy. This will be balanced with
  supports for students with discipline problems, such as
  providing alternative education arrangements and remedial
  action for suspended students to help them return to the
  classroom once the suspension ends.
  As well, some of the most serious problems which occur on
  school grounds are caused by people not even attending the
  school, and the bill gives teachers the authority to remove
  anyone not attending the school from the premises, if that
  person is disturbing the school.
  The bill provides for the transition to amalgamated school
  boards, shifting dollars out of administration and overhead,
  into the classroom. As well, school boards, like all
  publicly-funded organizations, must be accountable for how
  they spend tax dollars. For example, the bill requires
  school boards and school councils to produce annual reports,
  including information on goals, progress and results.
  Contact: Donna MacDonald  902-424-2615
  trp                   Nov. 03, 1995