A Nova Scotia school board plagued by internal bickering and dissension has been dismissed by the province’s education minister.Minister Karen Casey said Monday the decision to fire all members of the Strait Regional school board was necessary to protect the interests of students and board staff. “This is a decision that I hoped I would not have to make, but this board continues to struggle to maintain decorum and a professional working relationship among its members,” Casey said in a news release. “They have failed to put their differences behind them and are still being distracted from their mandate.”
The minister exercised her authority under Section 68 of the Education Act to remove all responsibilities from the elected board members. Those responsibilities will transfer immediately to John Sears, a former professor and vice-president academic at St. Francis Xavier University. Sears will oversee the board until new members can be elected in October.
Casey said that firing the entire board means that some effective members were also removed. “However, this is my only option under the act,” she said.
Monday’s decision marks the second time Casey has dismissed a dysfunctional school board. The entire Halifax Regional board was let go last year because of squabbling.
Casey said she has directed Education Department staff to examine other options for dealing with dysfunctional boards in the future. “I intend to bring forward legislation in the fall that will outline the role of both the boards and the minister in the discipline of individual board members,” she said.
-with a report from CP