FREDERICTON (CNB) – New school district boundaries as well as new district education council composition and remuneration were announced today by the provincial government.

The improvements are the result of 30 days of extensive consultations as part of the education and early childhood development reorganization announced Jan. 11.

"The input received at several meetings and more than 500 submissions online from our stakeholders, partners and the public have been extremely valuable," said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Jody Carr. "Everyone realizes that we need to work together to ensure the public education system and early childhood services are successful and sustainable for children and students now and in the future."

Based on feedback received during the consultation period, the provincial government is making the following changes:

Adjusting school district boundaries and increasing the number of sub-districts


As of July 1, the anglophone sector will consist of four districts:
    
●    the north district: Campbellton, Bathurst, Miramichi and Rexton regions (seven sub-districts);
●    the south district: Sussex, Saint John and St. Stephen regions (12 sub-districts);
●    the east district: Dieppe and Moncton regions (nine sub-districts); and
●    the west district: Fredericton, Oromocto, Woodstock and Edmundston regions (13 sub-districts).
 
The francophone sector will consist of three districts:
    
●    the northeast district: Campbellton, Bathurst and Acadian Peninsula regions (nine sub-districts);
●    the south district: Miramichi, Rogersville, Saint-Louis-de-Kent, Dieppe, Moncton, Fredericton, Oromocto, Woodstock, Saint John and St. Stephen regions (10 sub-districts); and
●    the northwest district: Grand Falls, Edmundston, Saint-Quentin and Kedgwick regions (eight sub-districts).
 
The boundaries will be used during the district education council elections on May 14; the new district education councils will start July 1. Transition teams will continue working with stakeholders to establish the new districts and keep employees informed as the process continues.
    
Increasing the number of publicly elected members on district education councils; adjusting the composition of district education councils
    
As a result of feedback received, including that from district education councils, there was agreement that a stronger partnership between these councils and parent school support committees is needed. There was also agreement that parent school support committee representation on district education councils was not the appropriate mechanism to ensure this.

The provincial government has decided, therefore, to proceed in the following ways:

●    more sub-districts are being added to each school district, and each sub-district will be represented by one member on the respective district education council, starting with the elections being held May 14;
●    district education councils will also have representatives from student councils and First Nations, as appropriate; and
●    one or two members may be appointed by the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, on the recommendation of the district education council involved, based on predetermined competencies.
    
"As part of the transition process, there is a focus on strengthening links between parents involved at the school level and at the district education council level," said Carr. "Further input and recommendations will be established to develop mechanisms to ensure the local voice has input into decisions."
    
Paying chairs, members of district education councils

    
Chairs of district education councils will be paid $6,000 annually, while council members will be paid $3,000 annually.
    
"Individuals who give their time to district education councils have a passion for education and a keen interest in ensuring that our children and students achieve their maximum potential," said Carr. "These individuals deserve to receive a fair and appropriate level of composition for the time they give to improve the education system and develop New Brunswick youth for the future."
    
As stated in Putting New Brunswick First, Carr said the provincial government remains committed to improving the role of district education councils to ensure they provide stakeholder input and provide the governance needed to lead a progressive education system.
    
LINK:
    
●    Department of Education and Early Childhood Development: www.gnb.ca/education