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Statutes of Newfoundland 1995


CHAPTER E-2

CHAPTER E-2.1

AN ACT RESPECTING EDUCATION

(Assented to December 21, 1995)

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. Construction

4. Denominational education councils

5. Duties of councils

6. Powers of education councils

7. Money borrowed

8. Authorization to borrow

9. Denominational policy commission

10. Officers of commission

11. Commission's functions

12. Recommendations of commission

13. General advisory committee

14. Appointments, etc.

15. Presiding officers at meetings

16. Proposed legislation

17. Religious education

18. Regulations

19. Certain rights to pension

20. Further rights to pension

Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Education Act.

Definitions

2. In this Act

(a) "commission" means the Denominational Policy Commission referred to in section 9;

(b) "denominational college" means college established under the Schools Act;

(c) "department" means the department presided over by the minister;

(d) "education council" means a denominational education council referred to in section 4;

(e) "executive director" means an executive director of an education council;

(f) "general advisory committee" means the general advisory committee referred to in section 13; and

(g) "minister" means the minister responsible for the administration of this Act.

Construction

3. This Act and the regulations shall be construed and interpreted so as to ensure that no provision of this Act and the regulations shall prejudicially affect a right or privilege with respect to denominational schools or denominational colleges that a class of persons had, either by law in the province at the date of union of Newfoundland with Canada or acquired by law after that date, and to ensure that out of public funds of the province provided for education

(a) all those schools shall receive their share of funds in accordance with scales determined on a non-discriminatory basis from time to time by the Legislature for all schools then being conducted under authority of the Legislature; and

(b) all those denominational colleges shall receive their share of grants voted for all denominational colleges then being conducted under authority of the Legislature, those grants being distributed on a non-discriminatory basis.

Denominational education councils

4. (1) A religious denomination for which there existed, immediately before January 21, 1969, legislative provision for a superintendent of education in the department as the department existed immediately before January 21, 1969, shall

(a) alone; or

(b) jointly with one or more or all of the remaining religious denominations

establish a denominational education council outside the department for the purpose of representing, and of being recognized by the province as representing, the religious denomination or denominations for which it is established in carrying out its powers, functions and duties under this Act and another Act in which reference is made to that education council.

(2) An education council shall appoint as an employee of the education council an executive director to act as the official channel of communication between the education council and the minister and the department, and the executive director shall

(a) be a member of the education council; and

(b) be a person acceptable to the minister and be paid a salary of which the minister may approve.

(3) The minister shall from money provided by the Legislature make to an education council an adequate annual grant, based on a non-discriminatory formula, for the purpose of paying the salary of the executive director and of remunerating other necessary employees of the education council and meeting administrative expenses of the education council.

(4) An education council shall, subject to an Act of the Legislature prescribing powers, duties or functions of those persons, prescribe and assign the duties and functions of its executive director and its other employees and notify the minister as to what duties and functions have been prescribed and assigned.

(5) Before establishing an education council under subsection (1), the religious denomination or denominations concerned shall furnish the minister with a copy of a proposed constitution, regulations, by-laws and rules prepared for the proposed education council.

(6) Upon the establishment of an education council, the education council shall furnish the minister with a copy of a constitution, regulations, by-laws and rules of the education council then in existence.

(7) As often as a constitution, regulations, by-laws or rules of an education council are amended or made, the education council shall furnish the minister with a copy of the constitution, regulations, by-laws or rules as amended or made.

(8) The financial year of the education council shall correspond with the financial year of the province.

(9) An education council shall, not later than September 30 in each year, prepare and submit to the minister a financial statement, in a form prescribed by the minister, setting out the assets and liabilities of the education council and the receipts and expenditures of the education council for the previous financial year, together with a report concerning the work of the education council during the previous financial year.

(10) Nothing in this section shall prevent an education council from

(a) according representation on it to; or

(b) permitting observers at its meetings from

religious denominations not referred to in subsection (1), and where representation is accorded to a religious denomination under paragraph (a), the education council may, unless the religious denomination otherwise directs, represent that religious denomination as if it were one of the religious denominations for which it is established under subsection (1).

(11) An education council is a corporation.

(12) A member of the House of Assembly or an employee of the department shall not be a member of an education council.

Duties of councils

5. An education council shall

(a) with respect to the religious denomination or religious denominations represented by it, have responsibility

(i) for making recommendations to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council concerning

(A) the establishment and alteration of boundaries of school districts,

(B) the selection and appointment of members of school boards, and

(C) the dissolution of school boards

under the Schools Act,

(ii) for making recommendations to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council for the purpose of section 3 of the Teacher Training Act, and

(iii) for the development and administration of religious education; and

(b) have responsibility for making recommendations to the minister concerning the selection, training and initial certification of teachers.

Powers of education councils

6. (1) Without limitation of its general powers as a corporation, an education council may

(a) receive lands, buildings, money or other property, by way of gift or trust for public uses or for the use of the education council;

(b) borrow, by way of temporary, interim or long term loans, or raise, or secure the payment of money in a manner that the education council thinks fit and, in particular by the issue of bonds, debentures or other securities and repay the borrowings and purchase, redeem or pay off those securities;

(c) pay interest, premium and sinking fund payments in respect of its borrowings;

(d) draw, make, accept, endorse, execute and issue promissory notes, bills of exchange and other negotiable or transferable instruments; and

(e) generally do all things that the education council considers necessary, convenient or advisable for or incidental to the exercise of the powers, functions and duties of the education council under this Act, the Schools Act or another Act.

(2) Without limitation of paragraph (1)(b), an education council may borrow, raise or secure the payment of money for payment over to school boards represented by that education council to meet obligations or commitments or portions of obligations or commitments of those school boards incurred or made before or after June 2, 1971,

(a) in the purchase of land or buildings for; or

(b) in the erection, extension or equipping of

public schools, but only where that education council is of the opinion that funds, from the province, the school boards concerned or other sources, will be forthcoming to enable it to repay those borrowings according to the terms and conditions applicable.

Money borrowed

7. The money authorized to be borrowed under section 6 may be borrowed and repaid in Canadian or United States of America currency, or in the currency of another country or partly in one currency and partly in another, as the education council may approve, and authority for borrowing or repaying that money includes authority to pay those exchange charges that may be applicable to that currency and the interest and premium incurred in respect of the borrowing and to make sinking fund payments in respect of the borrowing.

Authorization to borrow

8. Notwithstanding section 6, an education council shall not borrow money unless authorized by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council to do so.

Denominational policy commission

9. There shall be a denominational policy commission consisting of the minister, the deputy minister, the executive directors and one or more members of the senior executive officers of the department.

Officers of commission

10. (1) The minister shall be chairperson and the deputy minister shall be vice-chairperson of the commission.

(2) Where both the chairperson and the vice-chairperson of the commission are absent, there shall be no meeting of the commission.

Commission's functions

11. The commission shall, subject however to the minister, be responsible for advising the Lieutenant-Governor in Council on all educational policy that affects a right or privilege referred to in section 3 of a religious denomination or religious denominations represented on the commission by an executive director, including educational policy with regard to a right in respect of curriculum and textbooks and with regard to a right in respect of teacher selection and training, but shall not concern itself with general educational policy, administrative or academic, which does not affect a right or privilege.

Recommendations of commission

12. (1) Where the members of the commission are unanimous with respect to a recommendation to be made to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the recommendation shall be made to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council by the commission.

(2) Where the members of the commission are not unanimous concerning a recommendation considered by them, each education council shall, either alone, or jointly with another education council or other education councils, make a written report to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council through the minister.

General advisory committee

13. (1) There shall be a general advisory committee, which shall consist of

(a) the minister;

(b) the deputy minister;

(c) one or more senior executive officers of the department;

(d) the heads of the appropriate divisions of the department as selected by the minister;

(e) the executive directors;

(f) 2 persons who shall be representative of the Newfoundland and Labrador School Trustees Association;

(g) 2 persons who shall be representative of the Newfoundland Teachers' Association referred to in the Teachers' Association Act;

(h) one person who shall be representative of the Faculty of Education of the Memorial University of Newfoundland;

(i) one person who shall be representative of the Newfoundland and Labrador Home and School Federation; and

(j) one person who shall be representative of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Superintendents.

(2) The general advisory committee shall, subject however to the minister, be responsible for making recommendations to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council on existing educational policy relating to early childhood, primary, elementary and secondary education and to recommend to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council the initiation of a new policy, but where that new policy affects a right or privilege referred to in section 3, the general advisory committee shall refer the matter to the commission for its advice on the policy.

(3) In the absence of an executive director, a representative appointed for the purpose by the appropriate education council may serve on the general advisory committee in the place of that executive director and has and may exercise, during his or her absence, the powers and carry out the duties of that executive director with respect to the general advisory committee.

Appointments, etc.

14. (1) The minister shall be the chairperson and the deputy minister shall be the vice-chairperson of the general advisory committee.

(2) Members of the general advisory committee appointed under section 13 shall hold office during pleasure and may be paid those allowances or remuneration and expenses that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may authorize.

(3) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may appoint, provided the alternate member meets with the same requirements of subsection 13(1) that are applicable in respect of a member of the general advisory committee appointed under paragraph 13(1)(f), (g), (h), (i) or (j), in this section referred to as a "regular member", an alternate member for a regular member appointed under those paragraphs.

(4) An alternate member may, during the absence from a meeting of the general advisory committee of the regular member for whom the member is the alternate member, but only during that absence, exercise the powers and carry out the duties of the regular member while the regular member continues to be a member of the general advisory committee.

(5) An alternate member appointed under this section shall hold office during pleasure.

(6) An alternate member automatically ceases to be an alternate member at the same time as the regular member for whom the member is the alternate member ceases to hold office.

(7) While acting as an alternate member under this section, a person shall be paid

(a) a proportion of the allowance or remuneration authorized in respect of a regular member under subsection (2) calculated on the period of time during which the alternate member carries out the duties of the regular member in relation to the period of time during which the regular member carries out his or her duties, and that allowance or remuneration paid the alternate member shall be deducted from the amount which would otherwise be payable to a regular member who carries out the member's full duties without the intervention of the alternate member; and

(b) the same expenses that may be authorized under subsection (2) in respect of the regular member for whom the member is the alternate member.

Presiding officers at meetings

15. (1) The chairperson or, in the absence of the chairperson, the vice-chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the commission or the general advisory committee and the chairperson's decision on all points of order is final.

(2) Where both the chairperson and the vice-chairperson are absent from a meeting of the commission or the general advisory committee, the other members of the committee present shall appoint a temporary chairperson who has and may exercise the powers and shall carry out the duties of the chairperson at the meeting.

Proposed legislation

16. (1) The minister shall, before introducing, or advising the Lieutenant-Governor in Council to introduce, new policy requiring an Act or an amendment to an Act respecting education matters or requiring regulations or amendments to regulations made under an Act, furnish all executive directors with draft copies of the proposed Act, regulations or amendments.

(2) Nothing contained in subsection (1) or in section 11 or 12 shall be considered to bind the minister or the province to adopt a recommendation, proposal or advice referred to in section 11 or 12.

Religious education

17. (1) Nothing contained in this Act shall be considered to derogate from the functions and responsibility of a religious denomination referred to in subsection 4(1) with regard to the provision of religious education, and those functions and responsibility may be reposed by the religious denomination in an education council established under that subsection.

(2) A religious denomination referred to in subsection 4(1) may, subject to an Act of the Legislature, repose in an education council established under subsection 4(1) full or partial responsibility for the development and administration of religious education as it affects the school boards, schools, boards of directors, denominational colleges and teachers of, or in which there is an interest of, the religious denomination and as that education pertains to members of the religious denomination, and the reposing of responsibility shall have effect.

Regulations

18. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) necessary or desirable for the carrying out of the minister's powers, functions and duties under this Act; and

(b) generally to carry out the purpose of this Act.

Certain rights to pension

19. (1) In this section

(a) "pensions Act" means the Public Service Pensions Act, 1991;

(b) "pension plan" means the pension plan established by the pensions Act; and

(c) "superintendent" means a superintendent of education referred to in section 4 and includes an assistant to that superintendent.

(2) The provisions of the pensions Act are, with the necessary changes, considered to apply and to have applied from the date of the commencement of the pensions Act to those executive directors who, immediately before their appointment as executive directors, were superintendents, as if they were at all material times both "employees" and "established civil servants" within the meaning of that Act.

(3) For the purpose of this Act, it is declared that the pensions Act came into force on April 1, 1967.

(4) The service of executive directors who immediately before their appointment as executive directors were superintendents, as

(a) established civil servants before their appointment as executive directors; and

(b) executive directors

shall, for the purpose of the pension plan, be considered as service both as "employees" and "established civil servants" within the meaning of the pensions Act.

(5) Service of executive directors, who immediately before their appointment as executive directors were superintendents, on and after the date of the coming into force of the pensions Act shall not be considered as service both as "employees" and "established civil servants" for the purpose of subsection (4) unless

(a) deductions have been made and are from now on made from their salaries equal to the amounts and in the manner set out in the pensions Act for and in respect of their service, as referred to in subsection (4), done on or after April 1, 1967;

(b) the deductions referred to in paragraph (a) have been and are from now on paid in the manner and for the purpose set forth in the pensions Act; and

(c) payments are made, with respect to the pension plan, equal to the amounts deducted from the salaries of the executive directors under paragraph (a) and paid in accordance with subsection (7).

(6) An education council, which has an executive director who, immediately before the appointment of the executive director, was a superintendent, is authorized and empowered to, and shall, make the deductions referred to in paragraph (5)(a) and pay them over according to paragraph (5)(b).

(7) An education council described in subsection (6) is authorized and empowered to, and shall, make all payments referred to in paragraph (5)(c) into the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the purpose of the pension plan, and that payment shall, subject to the pension plan, be made in the manner and at the times prescribed by the Minister of Finance.

(8) Payments made under subsection (7) shall, for the purpose of section 15, be considered an administrative expense of the education council making them.

(9) The age of retirement of an executive director referred to in subsection (2) shall be the same as that applicable to an "employee" within the meaning of the pensions Act and the executive director shall be entitled to the advanced or deferred pension privileges of that employee.

(10) This section is considered to have come into force on the January 21, 1969.

Further rights to pension

20. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may, by order, designate employees of education councils, including executive directors not referred to in subsection 19(2), who shall, subject to subsection (2), receive the same benefits and be subject to the same terms and conditions with respect to pensions that are applicable to employees under the pension plan referred to in section 19.

(2) Paragraphs 19(5)(a), (b) and (c) and subsections 19(6), (7), (8) and (9) shall apply, with the necessary changes, to employees of education councils designated under subsection (1).

(3) This section is considered to have come into force on January 21, 1969.

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