(as introduced)

1st Session, 60th General Assembly
Nova Scotia
55 Elizabeth II, 2006

Private Member's Bill

Right to Read Act

Diana Whalen
Halifax Clayton Park

First Reading: October 31, 2006

Second Reading:

Third Reading:

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An Act Respecting
the Enhancement of School Libraries

Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

1 This Act may be cited as the Right to Read Act.

2 In this Act,

(a) "Committee" means the Committee established in by this Act;

(b) "Minister" means the Minister of Education;

(c) "objectives" means the objectives aimed at the enhancement of school libraries established by this Act;

(d) "school" means a public school as defined in the Education Act;

(e) "school region" means a school region within the meaning of the Education Act.

3 A body for study and consultation is hereby established under the name "Committee for Restoring School Libraries".

4 (1) The Committee consists of up to nine members appointed by the Minister.

(2) The Minister shall ensure

(a) that at least one member of the Committee is a school librarian employed within the Province;

(b) that at least three members of the Committee are school teachers employed within the Province;

(c) representation from the anglophone and francophone education systems; and

(d) that at least one member of the Committee is a library technician employed within the Province.

(3) The Minister shall, in making appointments under clause (2)(b), consult with the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union.

5 The Minister shall appoint a Chair of the Committee.

6 (1) Members of the Committee hold office for a term of four years.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a member holds office until the member's successor is appointed.

(3) The Minister shall fill any vacancy in the Committee as required.

7 Subject to Section 12, the Minister may, by regulation, establish compensation to be paid to members of the Committee.

8 The Committee shall

(a) provide advice and counsel to the Minister on achieving the objectives; and

(b) report to the House of Assembly on the progress made towards the objectives and the additional steps required to ensure their attainment.

9 (1) The Minister shall consult with the Committee in order to further the attainment of the following objectives by December 31, 2009:

(a) equipping every school with a school library that is an effective centre for the development of reading, research and problem-solving skills;

(b) maintaining data for each school region regarding

(c) implementing an increase in library books and other media holdings by fifty per cent from the levels in place on January 1, 2005;

(d) ensuring that school libraries increase the proportion of their holdings that are the copyrighted works of Canadian authors;

(e) creating a professional designation for the position of teacher-librarian and school librarian;

(f) ensuring that schools have access to librarians and teacher-librarians who are available to teaching faculty to assist in the development of programs and pedagogy;

(g) ensuring that students at every school have adequate access to their library and librarians during instructional time, and for reasonable times outside normal hours of in-class instruction; and

(h) developing provincial standards for the dedicated funding of the maintenance and enhancement of school library collections.

(2) For greater certainty, nothing in subsection (1) authorizes the expenditure of money other than in accordance with Section 12.

10 (1) The Committee shall report to the House of Assembly each year no later than December 31st by filing a report with the Clerk of the Assembly.

(2) The report of the Committee must contain

(a) a report on progress toward the objectives;

(b) information on the level of funding, by school region, designated to school libraries;

(c) recommendations for making further progress on the objectives, including the adequacy of current levels of funding; and

(d) any further information the Committee sees fit.

(3) The Minister may, by regulation, impose additional requirements upon the report of the Committee.

(4) The Minister shall, within ninety days of receipt of the Committee's report by the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly or, if the Assembly is not then sitting, within ten days of the Assembly next sitting, lay before the Assembly a response to any recommendations for future steps made by the Committee.

11 The exercise by the Minister of the authority contained in Section 7 and subsection 10(3) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act.

12 The moneys required for the purpose of this Act shall be paid out of moneys appropriated by the Legislature for that purpose.

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