I hope you are all having a good summer. Soon, it is back to school time, which means, back to fighting for quality education for our communities and our children.
There is a great deal of concern about the lack of time allowed to respond the proposed changes to the Education Act.
I hope you will take the time to read and respond to the following email.
Begin forwarded message:
From: “Percy Paris, office” <email@example.com>
Date: August 13, 2008 4:45:28 PM ADT
To: “Percy Paris” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Public input needed for School Board governance changes
I am the Education Critic for the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party. I am contacting you because of your involvement with P-12 education, or because your name has been passed along to me as someone concerned about education. I wanted to let you know that the Minister of Education, Karen Casey, is currently carrying out a very important public consultation on how our school boards will work. The Minister will be introducing amendments to the Education Act this fall. On July 31st she released a discussion paper for public comment on these proposed amendments. Unfortunately, she gave people just three weeks to comment.
You can find the six-page discussion paper on the government’s website: http://www.ednet.ns.ca/events/leg_consultation/documents/IncreaseEffectivenessSBGov.pdf
You can find a brief background summary at: http://www.ednet.ns.ca/events/leg_consultation/
I have serious concerns about the government’s proposal. First, the time the Minister is allowing for you to have input into these changes is far too short. You have until next Friday, August 22nd, to get your comments to the Department. If you think three weeks in the dog days of summer is insufficient and poor timing for proper public consultations, I would like to urge you to call the Minister’s office, at 902-424-5635, and demand that the deadline be extended until after schools are open and people are back into the swing of education issues. You can also e-mail the Minister at email@example.com. You should also call or e-mail your local MLA’s office.
Second, I have concerns about some of the proposed amendments. The Department of Education is suggesting significant changes to the Education Act, including doing away with by-elections. Another amendment gives school boards the ability to suspend elected members or recommend their removal to the Minister. (No context is provided about the process for censuring an elected member.) These changes deserve proper public input and a more reasonable consultation period.
If you have time to review the discussion paper and make comments, you should e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax them to (902) 424-0519, or mail them to:
School Board Effective Governance Review
Nova Scotia Department of Education
Corporate Policy Branch
P.O. Box 578
Halifax NS B3J 2S9
Please feel free to call or e-mail me with your concerns.