News Release Archive

  The following is a statement by Education Minister John
  The Education Act introduced in the legislature 10 days ago
  is all about supporting students and teachers in the
  "However, since its introduction, the wording of the bill
  has caused undue concern and confusion. We are addressing
  that concern and eliminating the confusion."
  The purpose of this bill is to improve education in Nova
  Scotia. It is designed to build partnerships among all Nova
  Scotians with an interest in education. This bill is not a
  power grab by the Minister of Education. This act is, in
  fact, a devolution of power to teachers, students and
  This act redirects dollars and resources from administration
  back to the classroom. We're bringing the people who care
  most about education together on school advisory councils.
  We're giving teachers and principals the authority they need
  to effectively manage their classrooms and schools. And
  we're supporting equity for all students -- Acadians and
  Francophones, African Nova Scotians, and students in schools
  from Digby to Glace Bay to Yarmouth.
  That's the clear purpose of the Education Act. And I remain
  committed to that purpose. But I want to say up front, the
  language has caused concern among some Nova Scotians. We
  want Nova Scotians to embrace this new act, so we are
  clarifying the bill to eliminate any confusion.
  Today, officials of my department are meeting with
  representatives of the teachers' union. Language changes
  will be proposed that, we believe, address all of the
  substantive concerns expressed by the union. I believe
  teachers in Nova Scotia can and will give their wholehearted
  support to this legislation, once it is clarified and
  Let me deal with the primary concerns expressed by the
  One, this bill in no way threatens current contracts or the
  collective bargaining process. Language asserting this fact
  will be added to the bill.
  Two, school councils are advisory bodies only. Parents will
  not hire or fire teachers. There will be no charter schools.
  Three, the existing certification process will not change.
  We will revert to the wording in the existing act.
  Professional development will also remain the same.
  Four, the penalty clause in the new act will apply only to
  people with no business on school grounds. Again, I will
  introduce an amendment to clarify that the penalty clause
  does not apply to the roles and responsibilities of
  teachers, principals, students or parents.
  Ladies and gentlemen, the purpose and principles of the bill
  remain intact. I know that the teachers of Nova Scotia
  support that purpose and those principles. However,
  legitimate concerns have been expressed about the wording of
  the proposed act. I've said all along, I'd work to address
  those concerns.
  The legislative process is working and working well, as the
  evolution of this legislature clearly proves. This bill will
  be strengthened and improved by this process, and ultimately
  Nova Scotia will have an act that we all, teachers,
  students, parents and government, can be proud of.
  Contact: Donna MacDonald  902-424-2615
  trp                      Nov. 14, 1995