Two school boards to miss N.S. minister's deadline
Ramona Jennex wants an answer by April 30
School boards across Nova Scotia continue to struggle with a request from the province to suspend their school closure plans until next year.
Three boards met Wednesday night.
Members of the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board say no one was happy about reopening an emotional debate about closing small schools in Bass River and in Wentworth.
Education Minister Ramona Jennex has asked school boards to suspend the school review process for 2013-2014. She also wants boards to delay any school closings decided in 2012-13.
Jennex said she expects to hear by April 30 whether boards have decided to comply with her request, adding if there are budget issues, her department will work with the boards to help them balance their budgets.
Chignecto board chair Trudy Thompson said she needs more information.
"What happens to the schools if we delay it for a year? Does it go back through the process if we rescind the motions? And how long will this new review process take?" she asked.
Meanwhile, the Halifax Regional School Board did accept Jennex’s request to delay reviews for Terence Bay and Joe Howe elementary schools next year.
But the options are less clear for other boards that decided to close schools because they don’t have enough operating money.
The Nova Scotia School Board Association said some boards are now wondering what to do with students who are preparing to transfer schools and teachers who have applied for jobs at different schools.
"Well I didn’t ask anyone to undo anything. What I’ve asked for is a delay in the school closure. This is not to say the schools will not close I’ve just asked for a delay while we put a new process in place," said Jennex.
The Strait Regional School Board said it will meet on May 1 to talk about the minister’s request.
Until board members know how that process might affect schools slated to close or be reviewed, Chignecto says it also won’t be able to give the minster an answer by her deadline.
with files from the Canadian Press