Education Minister Keeping Eye on Petite, Pentz Situation

Posted on Monday, July 31, 2017 09:54 AM

Nova Scotia's Education Minister says he won't be getting involved in school board politics.

Zach Churchill says he understands parents are frustrated by the decision to close Petite Riviere and Pentz Elementary Schools.

But says he has to respect that it's up to South Shore Regional School Board to decide which schools are needed.

"I know these aren't easy decisions for boards to make and I do not envy them. They are tough, particularly when school closure decisions impact communities and impact how parents are feeling."

Churchill says the education department did reach out to the board before the last election to see if they could keep the schools open.

But ultimately, the school board is best equipped to make these decisions as they are closest to the communities they serve.

Churchill says the decision is out of his hands.

"There is no regulatory authority for a minister to go in and overturn a decision of a board in relation to a school closure. That has never happened in Nova Scotia."

A judicial review between the South Shore Regional School Board and the Greater Petite Area Community Association is scheduled for September 7 in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

Churchill says at this point he is waiting for the results of that review before taking any further action.