Shedding light on the role of school boards
Members are responsible to and representative of the citizens they serve and are accountable to the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development
For 63 years school boards have come together at the provincial level through the Nova Scotia School Boards Association (NSSBA) to strengthen the non-partisan, local community representation for public education.
Over the years countless Nova Scotians have served as school board members to support students by providing oversight and holding the system accountable.
Prior to 1996, there were 22 school boards. There are now seven regional school boards and one provincial Acadian school board, serving just over 100,000 students and their families.
But what does this mean? What does a school board member do?
The job description is complex, but at the end of the day, governing school board members work together with their families, the public, their superintendent and the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development to support all students.
While school board members are not in front of classrooms, they hire the superintendents and hold them accountable, providing oversight for the education system. Governing school boards are responsible to and representative of the citizens they serve and are accountable to the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.
Oversight of the education system includes policy development and review, budget approval and monitoring, school review, capital planning and transportation considerations, ensuring the local system are responding to provincial legislation and programs, and the list goes on. Governing school board members are people in your community who are passionate about education and are dedicated to students and public education in Nova Scotia. They are there to represent the voice of each community.
It is important to note that recent comments made to media during the election campaign have referenced both the governing school board and administration. These are two different roles and two different groups. Governing school boards are primarily elected to represent the citizens they serve. The superintendent is hired by the governing school board to administer the system.
The NSSBA supports school boards and works with them to strengthen oversight and transparency. With the endorsement of the province, through our governance committee, concrete steps are in place to strengthen the way we do business and increase public accountability.
On behalf of school boards, the NSSBA meets regularly with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to provide input through resolutions and feedback from school communities. Our commitment to collaboration will not change. The NSSBA looks forward to continued cooperation with the government in the improvement of our public education system.
We encourage you to contact your school board members and talk with them about the work they do on behalf of students and communities.
Local governing school boards make a difference in ensuring quality education. They bring the public voice into education in Nova Scotia.
“(School boards) bring the public voice into education in Nova Scotia.”