of Bill :
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:
1 Section 1 of the Education Act, chapter E-1.12 of the Acts of New Brunswick, 1997, is amended by adding the following definition in alphabetical order:
"rural school" means a school which serves a local service district or an incorporated village that has a population of less than one thousand people;
2 The Act is amended by adding after section 3.1 the following:
3.2(1) The Minister shall, prior to giving approval for any school closure under section 3.1, take into account the following considerations:
(a) the length of travel time required for students to travel to an alternative school, especially the number of students who must spend more than thirty minutes in transit to an alternate school;
(b) the community use of the school building for non-academic events;
(c) the degree to which established standards for school facilities may be inappropriate or irrelevant when applied to the school in question;
(d) the current academic performance of students at the school on established academic indicators, if any;
(e) the impact of closing the school upon affected communities; and
(f) the impact of the school closure upon affected minority communities.
3.2(2) The Minister
(a) shall seek community input on the criteria listed in subsection (1) at a public meeting of which fourteen day's written notice has been given to all parents of children attending the school; and
(b) may appoint a designate to attend the said public meetings.
3.2(3) The Minister shall issue a decision in writing regarding his or her approval for the school closure.