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The Public Schools Amendment Act

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S.M. 1996, c. 51

THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS AMENDMENT ACT


 

(Assented to November 19, 1996)

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. c. P250 amended

1         The Public Schools Act is amended by this Act.

2         Section 21.3 is amended

(a) by repealing clause (e) and substituting the following:

(e) subsections 41(4), (5), (5.1) and (6);

(b) by adding the following after clause (f):

(f.1) clause 58.3(b) and subsection 58.4(1);

3         Subsection 21.15(6) is amended by striking out "subsections 41(5) and (6) (concerning programs that are not offered locally and the payment of costs) apply" and substituting "the home school division shall pay a fee to the francophone school division in an amount prescribed by regulation".

4          Section 21.34 is amended

(a) in clause (b), by adding "for pupils who reside within the boundaries of the francophone school division," before "payments";

(b) in clause (c), by striking out "residual costs by the pupil's home division as required by subsections 41(5) and (6)" and substituting "fees by the pupil's home school division as prescribed by regulation";

5         Section 21.43 is amended by adding the following after clause (g):

(g.1) for the purposes of subsection 21.15(6) and clause 21.34(c), prescribing fees a home school division must pay the francophone school division for non-resident pupils;

6(1)       Clause 41(1)(s) is repealed.

6(2)      Subsection 41(1) is amended by adding the following after clause (t):

(u) cooperate with schools to develop courses, programs and instructional materials, subject to the approval of the minister;

(v) provide to school advisory councils, local school committees and school committees any information that is reasonably necessary for their operation;

(w) provide the minister, at the times and in the form and manner he or she determines, such information as the minister may require;

(x) on an annual basis, report to the residents of the school division or school district, or in the case of the francophone school division, to parents of pupils who attend schools operated by it, any results of assessments of the effectiveness of educational programs;

(y) comply with directives of the minister;

(z) ensure that each school in the school division or school district prepares an annual school plan.

6(3)       The following is added after subsection 41(5):

Transfer of pupil where program offered locally

41(5.1)   Where a resident pupil attends a program at a school in another school division and that program is offered by the home school division, the home school division shall pay a pupil transfer fee to the other school division in accordance with the regulations.

6(4)      Subsection 41(6) is repealed and the following is substituted:

Regulations

41(6)     The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) for the purposes of subsection (5), providing for the manner of calculating residual costs; and

(b) for the purposes of subsection (5.1), providing for the manner of calculating pupil transfer fees.

6(5)       Subsection 41(8) is repealed and the following is substituted:

Appointment of auditor

41(8)     Each school board shall annually appoint an auditor to carry out the duties of an auditor under this Act with respect to the school division or school district.

Qualifications of auditor

41(8.1)   The school board shall appoint as auditor a person who is entitled to practise as an accountant under the authority of an Act of the Legislature.

Report name to minister

41(8.2)   The school board shall, within 40 days after appointing an auditor under subsection (8), inform the minister of the name of the auditor appointed.

6(6)       Subsection 41(10) is amended by striking out "practices" and substituting "standards".

6(7)       Subsection 41(11) is repealed and the following is substituted:

Auditor's report

41(11)    An auditor for a school division or school district shall, not later than October 31 in each year, make a report to the school board on the annual financial statements that the auditor has examined as at the end of the preceding fiscal year.

6(8)      Subsection 41(11.1) is repealed.

6(9)      The following is added after subsection 41(11.1):

Standards of the C.I.C.A.

41(11.2)  A report made under subsection (11) shall

(a) comply with the standards of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants for an auditor's standard report; and

(b) include the auditor's opinion as to whether the financial statements present fairly the financial position of the school division as at the end of the preceding fiscal year and the results of its operations for the preceding fiscal year, in accordance with accepted accounting principles for school divisions.

6(10)     Subsection 41(12) is repealed and the following is substituted:

Auditor's supplementary report

41(12)    The auditor shall submit to the school board a supplementary report on his or her examination of the annual financial statements and the report shall contain any information required by the regulations.

6(11)     Subsection 41(14) is amended by adding ", in the form and manner that the minister requires," after "minister".

6(12)     Subsection 41(15) is repealed.

7         The following is added after section 41:

Definition of "accumulated deficit"

41.1(1)   In this section, "accumulated deficit" means the financial position of a school division or school district where the amount by which the total of all deficits for the year and preceding years exceeds the total of all surpluses for the year and preceding years.

Obligations where accumulated deficit

41.1(2)   Where a financial statement furnished to the minister in accordance with subsection 41(14) discloses that the school division or school district has an accumulated deficit, the school board shall immediately

(a) inform the minister of the accumulated deficit and the reason the accumulated deficit was incurred by the school division or school district; and

(b) prepare a plan to eliminate the accumulated deficit and submit it to the minister for approval.

Action by minister

41.1(3)   Where the minister is not satisfied with the school board's plan to eliminate the accumulated deficit, the minister may

(a) direct the school board to prepare a revised plan to eliminate the accumulated deficit within a period of time directed by the minister and submit it to the minister for approval; or

(b) require the school board to take such measures as the minister deems appropriate to eliminate the accumulated deficit.

8         The following is added after section 42:

PUPIL FILES

Storage of information

42.1      Subject to the provisions of the Act and the regulations, every school board shall establish written procedures respecting the collection, storage, retrieval, and use of information respecting pupils.

Definition of "pupil file"

42.2      In sections 42.3 to 42.6, 58.6 and 58.9, "pupil file" means a record or a collection of records respecting a pupil's attendance, academic achievement and other related matters in the possession or control of a school board.

Access to pupil file

42.3(1)   On request, subject to subsections (2) and (3), a school board or a person acting on behalf of a school board shall

(a) provide a parent or, if a pupil has attained the age of majority, a pupil access to the pupil's pupil file; and

(b) ensure that an employee who is competent to interpret the information contained in the pupil file is available to assist the parent or the pupil.

Refusal of access

42.3(2)   A school board may refuse to provide access to all or part of a pupil file where disclosure could reasonably be expected to

(a) constitute an unreasonable invasion of the privacy of a third party;

(b) be detrimental to the education of the pupil;

(c) cause serious physical or emotional harm to the pupil or another person; or

(d) be injurious to the enforcement of an enactment or the conduct of an investigation under an enactment.

Consent of adult pupil

42.3(3)   The school board shall not disclose to a parent the pupil file of his or her child who has attained the age of majority without first obtaining the consent of the pupil.

Definition of court

42.4(1)   In this section, "court" means the Court of Queen's Bench.

Appeal to court

42.4(2)   A parent or a pupil who has attained the age of majority may appeal a school board's decision to refuse access to a pupil file by filing an application with the court within 30 days after being notified of the refusal of access.

Procedure on appeal

42.4(3)   The court may, during the course of the proceedings,

(a) order the school board to produce to the court any pupil file in the school board's possession or control; and

(b) take such measures as the court considers appropriate to protect the confidentiality of records, including holding a hearing or a portion of a hearing in private or in the absence of the applicant.

Order

42.4(4)   Subject to subsection (5), the court may

(a) order the school board to give the applicant access to all or part of the pupil file; and

(b) make such other order as the court deems appropriate.

Access refused

42.4(5)   The court shall not order a school board to give access to any part of a pupil file to which subsection 42.3(2) applies.

Objection to information on pupil file

42.5      A school board shall, on request by a parent or a pupil, attach to the pupil file the parent's or pupil's written objection to, or explanation or interpretation of, any matter contained in the file.

Disclosure in good faith

42.6      For greater certainty, nothing in sections 42.1 to 42.5 shall be interpreted to restrict the ability of a school board or a person acting on behalf of a school board to disclose information contained in a pupil file, provided the disclosure is made in good faith and within the scope of the duties and responsibilities of the school board or the person.

9          Subsection 48(1) is amended

(a) by repealing clause (m); and

(b) by repealing clause (o) and substituting the following:

(o) except as otherwise provided in this Act, collect or recover in any court of competent jurisdiction as a debt fees owing to it from a parent or legal guardian of a pupil attending, or receiving a service from, a school in the school division or school district;

Part III.1 added

10        The following is added after section 58:

PART III.1

PARENTS AND PUPILS

Access to Schools and Programs

Definition of "parent"

58.1      In this Part, "parent" includes a legal guardian.

Program information etc.

58.2      Every school board shall publish or otherwise make available to parents and pupils the information required by the regulations respecting programs offered and the enrolment of resident and non-resident pupils in programs and schools, at the times and in the form and manner required by the regulations.

Pupil enrolment

58.3      A resident pupil may be enrolled in

(a) a program offered at any school within the school division or school district; or

(b) subject to section 58.4, a program offered at a school in another school division or school district;

in accordance with the procedures established in the regulations.

Enrolment by school

58.4(1)   A school shall enrol a non-resident pupil in the program for which he or she applies unless, in the opinion of the principal or other person designated by the school board,

(a) there is insufficient space in the program the pupil wishes to attend having regard to the priorities established in subsection (2);

(b) enrolling the pupil in the program would require significant expenditure to extend or otherwise alter a program or the school building or school property;

(c) enrolling the pupil in the program likely would be seriously detrimental to the continuity of the pupil's education;

(d) the program is not suited to the age, ability or aptitude of the pupil;

(e) enrolling the pupil in the program likely would be seriously detrimental to order and discipline in the school or the educational well-being of pupils there;

(f) enrolling the pupil in the program is inadvisable for any other reason or for any circumstance that may be specified in the regulations.

Priorities

58.4(2)   Where the number of pupils who apply to enrol in a program in a school exceeds the number of places available in the program, the school shall enrol pupils in the following order of priority:

(a) first, pupils who reside in the school's catchment area;

(b) second, pupils who reside in the school division;

(c) third, other pupils.

Regulations

58.5      The minister may make regulations

(a) respecting the information school boards are required to publish or otherwise make available to parents and pupils respecting programs offered and the enrolment of resident and non-resident pupils in programs and schools, and the times, the form and the manner in which the information is to be provided;

(b) for the purposes of section 58.3, establishing procedures for the enrolment of pupils;

(c) exempting pupils or classes of pupils from the requirements of this Part or any provision in this Part;

(d) for the purposes of clause 58.4(1)(f), specifying reasons or circumstances which make inadvisable the enrolment of a pupil in a program.

Rights and Responsibilities of Parents and Pupils

Rights of parents

58.6      Subject to the provisions of this Act and the regulations, a person who is resident in Manitoba is entitled to enrol his or her child in a program in any school in Manitoba and to

(a) be informed regularly of the attendance, behaviour and academic achievement of his or her child in school;

(b) consult with his or her child's teacher or other employee of the school division or school district about the child's program and academic achievement;

(c) have access to his or her child's pupil file;

(d) receive information about programs available to his or her child;

(e) be informed of the discipline and behaviour management policies of the school or school division or school district, and to be consulted before the policies are established or revised;

(f) be a member of an advisory council, local school committee or school committee at his or her child's school; and

(g) accompany his or her child and assist him or her to make representations to the school board before a decision is made to expel the child.

Responsibilities of parents

58.7      A parent of a child of compulsory school age or who is attending school shall

(a) cooperate fully with the child's teachers and other employees of the school division or school district to ensure the child complies with school and school division or school district student discipline and behaviour management policies; and

(b) take all reasonable measures to ensure the child attends school regularly.

Responsibility for damage

58.8      If property of a school division or school district is destroyed, damaged, lost or converted by the intentional or negligent act of a child, the child and his or her parents are jointly and severally liable to the school board for the loss.

Right to enrol in programs

58.9(1)   Subject to the provisions of this Act, a person who has the right to attend school under section 259 may enrol or be enrolled in a program offered by any school in Manitoba.

Rights of pupils

58.9(2)   A pupil is entitled to

(a) receive regular testing and evaluation of his or her academic performance and achievement;

(b) subject to subsection 42.3(2), have access to his or her pupil file, if the pupil has attained the age of majority; and

(c) be accompanied by a parent or other adult to assist him or her and to make representations to the school board before a decision is made to expel him or her.

Responsibilities of pupils

58.10     A pupil is responsible for

(a) attending school and classes regularly and punctually;

(b) complying with the student discipline and behaviour management policies of the school;

(c) completing assignments and other related work required by teachers or other employees of the school division or school district; and

(d) treating school property and the property of others employed at or attending the school with respect.

11         Clause 60(5)(b) is amended by adding "the principal and" before "the teachers".

12        Clause 70(b) is amended by striking out "$5,000." and substituting "$20,000.".

13        Subsection 91(1) is amended

(a) in the subsection heading, by adding "and principals" after "Certified teachers"; and

(b) by adding "or principal" after "a teacher".

14         The following is added after subsection 101(5):

Access to personnel records

101(6)    A school board or a person acting on behalf of a school board shall

(a) provide a teacher with access to the teacher's personnel record upon request; and

(b) upon request by a teacher, attach to the personnel record the teacher's written objection to, or explanation or interpretation of, any matter contained in the personnel record.

15         Section 178 is repealed and the following is substituted:

Budget consultations

178(1)    A school board shall not approve its annual budget until it has consulted each school advisory council, local school committee or school committee in the school division or school district.

Budget submitted to minister

178(2)    Each school board shall, on or before March 31 of each year, submit to the minister in the manner and form prescribed by the minister, an estimate of its proposed budget for the immediately ensuing fiscal year.

16(1)     Section 201 is repealed and the following is substituted:

Definition of "securities"

201(1)    In this section, "securities" means bonds, debentures, promissory notes, deposit certificates, treasury bills, trust certificates, guaranteed investment certificates or other documents evidencing debt.

Investing moneys not immediately required

201(2)    A school board may

(a) invest in securities of a bank, trust company or credit union, or securities issued or guaranteed by the Government of Canada or the Government of Manitoba, that mature within one year; or

(b) deposit for investment with the Minister of Finance for a period not exceeding one year;

money that is not required for immediate expenditure.

16(2)     Sections 202 and 203 are amended by striking out "clause 201(c)" and substituting "clause 201(1)(b)".

17         Subsection 258(2) is amended by striking out "within 12 weeks after that time or within 12 weeks after any date fixed by a school board for admission to enrolment" and substituting "on or before December 31 of that year".

18         Section 259 is amended by striking out "within 12 weeks after that time or within 12 weeks after any date fixed by a school board for admission to enrolment" and substituting "on or before December 31 of that year".

Coming into force

19        This Act comes into force on a day fixed by proclamation.