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Positioning Education and Early Childhood Development for the Future
We are living in an important time in our province. Our demographic make-up is changing, and along with it, community needs are evolving. Our resources are stretched amongst competing priorities across the full range of public service, affecting ALL New Brunswickers.
Hon. Jody Carr, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development
The department is making significant changes to district organization boundaries which will allow us to begin addressing our structure to ensure the resources we have are more in line with direct services for students, children, and their families and to be less about supporting existing systems.
The reorganization to seven school districts, from the current 14, will reduce administration and duplication to better focus on learning and results. It is more representative of the declining student population and more in line with other education systems in Atlantic Canada.
Once fully implemented, the cost of managing districts is expected to be decreased by over $5 million annually. Just as important as the savings is the opportunity to redesign district administration to deliver programs and services in the most effective and efficient way possible to students.
The boundaries would be used during the district education council elections in May; the new councils would start July 1.
As part of repositioning the education system, the department will also be making changes to District Education Councils (DECs). This includes empowering DECs by ensuring they provide the stakeholder input and governance required to lead a progressive system.
The district education councils will be composed of an elected member from each sub-district as well as representatives from student councils and First Nations, where appropriate.
The provincial government, acting on one of its commitments, would also provide a new remuneration of $3,000 annually for council members and $6,000 annually for council chairs.
DEC members will also be involved with a new Ministerial Advisory Committee for overall transition, be on a new education plan steering committee, and DEC members will continue to serve on several other department committees.