News Release Archive

  Education and Culture Minister John MacEachern introduced
  amendments this evening to clarify and strengthen the
  Education Act for Nova Scotia students.  
  The amendments build on principles already in the act. To
  protect the rights of employees, specific provisions have
  been amended to ensure the act protects existing collective
  agreements. For example, current two-tier bargaining with
  the Nova Scotia teachers union will be retained. The
  teachers union and the Nova Scotia School Boards Association
  have been invited to work with the department to achieve a
  single-tier process in future.
  By severing this labour relations issue from the
  legislation, we can return the focus to what this bill is
  all about -- a better education for Nova Scotia students, 
  Mr. MacEachern said.
  Amendments have also been made to strengthen the principle
  of partnerships. For example, an amendment clarifies that
  school boards remain accountable to the people who elect
  them. School advisory council roles and responsibilities
  will be established with joint agreement by the school
  board, school council and Department of Education and
  Culture. No power of the school board can be transferred to
  a school advisory council without the agreement of the
  school board. As well, school advisory councils will not
  hire and fire teachers.
  To promote equity, the decisions of school advisory councils
  are balanced with a provincial responsibility for curriculum
  and standards. This will ensure students have an equal
  opportunity to a high quality education wherever they attend
  To strengthen the commitment to African Canadian education
  beyond the creation of a Council on African Canadian
  Education, school boards will implement programs and
  policies and include information on African Canadians in
  learning materials. To ensure the rights and interests of
  the Mi'kmaq are addressed, a Council on Mi'kmaq Education
  will also be created, with similar responsibilities to the
  Council on African Canadian Education. The Education Act has
  also been amended to promote the principle of inclusion for
  students with special needs.
  The right of parents to choose home schooling for their
  child has also been strengthened. As well, home schooling
  will be monitored by the department, not school boards. 
  To promote safe, orderly schools, the penalty clause has
  been clarified to apply only to people who threaten
  students, teachers or other staff, or who cause a
  disturbance in school or on school grounds. The penalty
  clause will not apply to roles and responsibilities of
  teachers, parents, students and others.
  I want to thank the groups and individuals who met or
  contacted me over the past two weeks, and in fact the past
  two years, Mr. MacEachern said. By listening to these
  groups, we can all be assured our new Education Act will
  support a better education and a better future for young
  Nova Scotians.
  Further amendments are also possible, as the Law Amendments
  Committee continues to meet.
  Contact: Donna MacDonald  902-424-2615
  trp                     Nov. 20, 1995