Nova Scotia

South Shore school board faces review

Nova Scotia's education minister has ordered a performance review of the South Shore school board.

Nova Scotia's education minister has ordered a performance review of the South Shore Regional School Board.

The board itself asked for an audit after it was revealed that some members tried to make backroom deals to save certain schools.

In the end, there was no open discussion about the 12 schools up for review.

Education Minister Ramona Jennex said this raises questions about the board's ability to function properly, and this review will hopefully clear the air.

"Unfortunately, the board has lost their credibility and so we really need to find a way that they can regain the credibility," she said Thursday.

"People need to know school boards are there to benefit the students. They're there to make sure that the education of the children in the South Shore Regional School Board is supported appropriately and the decisions that they are making are for the students are appropriate decisions."

An independent reviewer will conduct the performance review. The terms of reference have not been finalized.

Jennex has the power to dismiss board members or dissolve the board outright . But she said that would be drastic action.

The review will likely take until October to be completed, she said.

The board was scheduled to discuss the possible review of 12 schools — a process that could have led to the closure of some of them.

But on March 30, 10 of the 12 board members voted to skip the entire process.

The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin obtained emails through a freedom-of-information request that showed some board members lobbied others to support their schools before the vote.

Last month, the board formally apologized for ditching the review process.