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Statutes of Newfoundland 1996
AN ACT RESPECTING EDUCATION
(Assented to December 19, 1996)
1. Short title
3. Denominational education commission
5. School construction board
8. Existing councils abolished
9. SN1991 c12 Amdt.
Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:
1. This Act may be cited as the Education Act, 1996.
2. In this Act
(a) "commission" means the denominational education commission established under section 3;
(b) "construction board" means the school construction board established under section 5;
(c) "department" means the department presided over by the minister;
(d) "former Act" means the Education Act;
(e) "minister" means the minister appointed under the Executive Council Act to administer this Act;
(f) "school" means a public school as defined in the Schools Act, 1996; and
(g) "school board" means a school board established under the Schools Act, 1996.
Denominational education commission
3. (1) Within 21 days after the commencement of this Act, the religious denominations representing the classes of persons having rights under Term 17(a) of the Terms of Union of Newfoundland with Canada shall jointly establish a denominational education commission.
(2) The commission is a corporation.
(3) The religious denominations which form the commission shall determine the structure and procedures of the commission as well as the number of representatives of each religious denomination that shall serve as members of the commission.
(4) The commission shall adopt a constitution and by-laws in order to carry out its duties and operations under this Act and shall, within 90 days of its establishment under this Act, provide to the minister a copy of its constitution and by-laws and where that constitution or those by-laws are amended, shall provide to the minister a copy of those amendments.
(5) The commission shall
(a) advise the minister and the denominational committees of school boards established under the Schools Act, 1996 respecting issues of concern to the commission;
(b) develop and support programs in religious education;
(c) determine those denominational committees which shall be required for each school board and, subject to section 78 of the Schools Act, 1996, the number of members that shall constitute each denominational committee;
(d) nominate for appointment to a denominational committee persons who are not school board trustees where a school board has an insufficient number of trustees of a religious denomination elected under paragraph 53(3)(a) of the Schools Act, 1996 to constitute a denominational committee, provided that the nominated person resides within the school board's district; and
(e) nominate persons for appointment to the construction board in accordance with section 5.
4. (1) The minister shall, from money provided by the Legislature for that purpose, provide funds to the commission for the purpose of paying costs of the commission provided that the minister considers those costs to be reasonable.
(2) The financial year of the commission shall correspond with the financial year of the province.
(3) The commission shall keep an accurate record of its assets and liabilities and shall record all receipts and expenditures and ensure that the funds received from the minister are expended only for the purpose for which they are provided and prepare and submit to the minister not later than September 30 in each year, a detailed statement of its accounts audited by a person licensed under the Public Accountancy Act in the form that may be prescribed by the minister.
(4) Where the commission does not comply with subsection (3) the minister may
(a) order that the commission not receive further payments of funds under subsection (1); and
(b) direct in writing that the accounts of the commission be audited by an auditor designated by the minister and that auditor shall report on his or her audit to the minister.
(5) The commission shall when requested provide to a person conducting an audit under this section all account books, accounts, supporting documents and other information necessary to complete the audit.
(6) The minister may withhold further payments of funds under subsection (1) where an audit shows that the funds are not being expended in accordance with this Act, or the commission refuses to provide an account book, account, supporting document or other information requested under subsection (5).
School construction board
5. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint a school construction board consisting of 7 persons
(a) 3 of whom shall be nominated by the minister;
(b) 3 of whom shall be nominated by the commission; and
(c) a chairperson who shall be nominated and mutually agreed upon by the minister and the commission
provided that where a chairperson is not nominated and agreed upon under paragraph (c) within a period that the minister considers to be reasonable, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint a chairperson to the board.
(2) A member of the construction board shall hold office for a period of not more than 5 years and his or her appointment may be renewed.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), of the members of the construction board first appointed under this section
(a) 2 shall serve for a term of 2 years;
(b) 2 shall serve for a term of 3 years; and
(c) 3, including the chairperson, shall serve for a term of 5 years.
(4) A trustee and an employee of a school board established under the Schools Act, 1996 shall not be eligible to serve on the construction board.
(5) A vacancy on the construction board shall be filled in the same manner as the member being replaced and the replacement member shall serve for the remainder of the term of office of the member being replaced and may be reappointed in accordance with this section.
(6) The minister shall provide for resources necessary for the operation of the construction board.
(7) Members of the construction board shall serve without remuneration but travelling and other expenses reasonably incurred in connection with the work of the construction board may be paid at a rate determined by the minister.
(8) Each member of the construction board has one vote.
(9) The construction board may make by-laws in order to carry out its duties under this Act, but those by-laws shall not come into force until they have been approved by the minister.
6. The construction board shall
(a) receive proposals from school boards for the erection, extension and equipment of schools;
(b) priorize the proposals referred to in paragraph (a);
(c) recommend to the minister those proposals or portions of proposals received under this section that should receive an allocation of funds;
(d) advise the minister respecting future allocations for the erection, extension and equipment of schools;
(e) maintain an ongoing inventory of the physical condition of school buildings;
(f) develop policies for the preventive maintenance, repair and reconstruction of buildings;
(g) develop school planning, maintenance, repair and construction guidelines; and
(h) perform other duties required by the minister.
7. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations necessary or desirable for the carrying out of the minister's powers, functions and duties under this Act.
(2) Regulations made under this Act may be made with retroactive effect.
Existing councils abolished
8. (1) When the commission is established but, in any event, not later than 21 days after the commencement of this Act, a denominational education council established under section 4 of the former Act is abolished.
(2) All funds of a denominational education council referred to in subsection (1) of a capital or operational nature, including interest on those funds shall vest in the Crown and shall be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund immediately after the commencement of this Act and all real and personal property of a denominational education council purchased using a grant made under subsection 4(3) of the former Act shall vest in the Crown.
(3) The Crown is charged with and assumes all of the obligations and liabilities incurred under a duty or power of a denominational education council existing under the former Act.
SN1991 c12 Amdt.
9. Subsection 34(1) of the Public Service Pensions Act, 1991 is amended by striking out the word "or" at the end of paragraph (g), by striking out the period at the end of paragraph (h) and substituting a semicolon and the word "or" and by adding the following immediately after paragraph (h):
(i) the denominational education commission established under the Education Act, 1996 as designated by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.
10. This Act or a section of this Act shall come into force on a date to be proclaimed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.
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