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Education Act (amended)

BILL NO. 215

(as introduced)

2nd Session, 60th General Assembly
Nova Scotia
57 Elizabeth II, 2008



Government Bill



Education Act
(amended)



The Honourable Karen Casey
Minister of Education



First Reading: November 7, 2008

(Explanatory Notes)

Second Reading: November 17, 2008

Third Reading: November 21, 2008 (WITH COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS) (LINK TO BILL AS PASSED)

Explanatory Notes

Clause 1 amends a provision respecting the qualifications to be elected as a member of a school board to include persons appointed to a school board as a result of Clause 4.

Clause 2 requires the oath of office taken by a member of a school board to be as prescribed by the regulations made by the Minister of Education rather than the regulations made pursuant to the Municipal Elections Act.

Clauses 3 and 4 enact new provisions respecting vacancies on a school board.

Clauses 5 and 6 authorize a school board to censure a member of the school board.

Clauses 7 and 8 provide that the chair and vice-chair of a school board hold office for two years instead of one year.

Clause 9 requires a school board to adopt a procedural by-law in accordance with the regulations.

Clause 10 requires a school board to adopt a code of ethics.

Clause 11

(a) adds the failure of a school board to censure a member of the school board as directed by the Minister of Education to the grounds pursuant to which the Minister may replace the school board; and

(b) clarifies that the Minister may appoint more than one person to replace a school board.

Clause 12 authorizes the Minister of Education to

(a) prescribe the oath of office for members of school boards;

(b) prescribe the mandatory content of a code of ethics;

(c) regulate the appointment of adjudicators to hear appeals from decisions of school boards to censure their members; and

(d) prescribe the mandatory content of a procedural by-law adopted by a school board.

Clause 13 repeals a provision of the Municipal Elections Act replaced by Clause 4.

Clause 14 provides that this Act comes into force on proclamation.

An Act to Amend Chapter 1
of the Acts of 1995-96,
the Education Act,
Respecting the Governance of School Boards

Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

1 Subsection 46(1) of Chapter 1 of the Acts of 1995-96, the Education Act, as amended by Chapter 15 of the Acts of 1998, is further amended by

(a) adding "or appointed" immediately after "elected" in the second line;

(b) adding "or appointment" immediately after "nomination" in the last line of clause (a); and

(c) adding "or the day of appointment" immediately after "day" in the fourth line of clause (b).

2 Subsection 50(1) of Chapter 1, as amended by Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1998, is further amended by striking out "pursuant to the Municipal Elections Act" in the second and third lines and substituting "prescribed pursuant to the regulations".

3 Subsection 51(4) of Chapter 1 is repealed.

4 Chapter 1 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 51 the following Section:

51A (1) A vacancy in the seat of a member of a school board occurring within six months of the next regularly scheduled election for school board members shall not be filled.

(2) A vacancy in the seat of a member of a school board occurring within two years but not within six months of the next regularly scheduled election for school board members shall be filled by the Minister with a person qualified to be elected to that position.

(3) A vacancy in the seat of a member of a school board occurring more than two years before the next regularly scheduled election for school board members shall be filled by special election pursuant to the Municipal Elections Act.

5 Section 52 of Chapter 1 is amended by adding "(1)" immediately after the Section number and by adding the following subsection:

(2) For greater certainty, subsection (1) does not apply for non-attendance because of an inability to attend a meeting of the school board because of censure pursuant to clause 52A(1)(b) or (c).

6 Chapter 1 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 52 the following Section:

52A (1) A school board may, and where directed by the Minister shall, censure a member of the school board by

(a) issuing a public reprimand by motion at an open meeting of the school board;

(b) revoking the member's right to sit as a member for one to three months;

(c) suspending the member from the school board, including the suspension of all the member's rights, duties and privileges as a member of the school board, for from one to three months;

(d) recommending to the Minister that the member's seat be vacated.

(2) Where the school board recommends to the Minister that the seat of a member of the school board be vacated, the Minister may vacate the member's seat.

(3) Where the Minister considers it necessary for a member of a school board to be censured and the school board fails to censure the member or to censure the member appropriately, the Minister may direct the school board to censure the member pursuant to clause (1)(a), (b) or (c) as the Minister considers appropriate or may vacate the member's seat.

(4) Where a member of a school board is censured pursuant to this Section, the member may appeal to a single adjudicator appointed by the Minister and the adjudicator may set aside or vary the censure as the adjudicator considers appropriate.

7 Subsection 55(1) of Chapter 1 is amended by striking out "annually" in the third line and substituting "every two years".

8 (1) Subsection 56(1) of Chapter 1 is amended by striking out "one year" in the second line and substituting "two years".

(2) Subsection (1) applies with respect to chairs and vice-chairs of school boards elected following the 2008 and subsequent elections, whether elected before or after the coming into force of that subsection.

9 (1) Clause 58(1)(b) of Chapter 1 is repealed.

(2) Section 58 of Chapter 1 is further amended by adding immediately after subsection (1) the following subsection:

(1A) A school board shall, by by-law and in accordance with the regulations, regulate its proceedings and provide for preserving order at its meetings.

10 Subsection 64(2) of Chapter 1, as amended by Chapter 5 of the Acts of 2002 and Chapter 16 of the Acts of 2005, is further amended by adding immediately after clause (ala) the following clause:

(alb) adopt a code of ethics in accordance with the regulations;

11 Subsection 68(2) of Chapter 1, as amended by Chapter 5 of the Acts of 2002 and Chapter 3 of the Acts of 2004, is further amended by

(a) relettering clause (aa) as clause (ab);

(b) adding immediately after clause (a) the following clause:

(aa) a school board has failed to censure a member of a school board as directed by the Minister;

and

(c) striking out "a person" in the sixth last line and substituting "one or more persons".

12 Subsection 145(1) of Chapter 1, as amended by Chapter 5 of the Acts of 2002 and Chapter 15 of the Acts of 2007, is further amended by adding immediately after clause (sa) the following clauses:

(sb) prescribing the oath of office to be taken by the members of a school board;

(sc) prescribing the mandatory content of a code of ethics adopted by a school board;

(sd) respecting the appointment of adjudicators to hear appeals from a decision of a school board to censure a member of the school board;

(se) prescribing the mandatory content of a procedural by-law respecting the conduct of meetings of a school board;

13 Subsection 13(9) of Chapter 300 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Municipal Elections Act, is repealed.

14 This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.


This page and its contents published by the Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly, and © 2008 Crown in right of Nova Scotia. Created December 3, 2008. Send comments to legc.office@gov.ns.ca.