What is a District Education Council (DEC)?
District Education Councils were
first established in 2001 to provide local governance and community input in the education system. The Education Act
currently provides for 11 to 13 elected education councillors for each of the province's seven school districts - 4 Anglophone and 3 Francophone districts.
DECs use a policy governance model. They set and monitor the policies and objectives to be carried out by the district staff and local schools. Each DEC must work within the policies and standards of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. DECs develop objectives and policies to address the priorities and needs of their district.
Members are not involved in day-to-day decision-making and do not deal with issues regarding individual students.
District Education Councils have authority over:
• hiring, firing and directing the superintendent who will, in turn, hire all school district staff on behalf of the DEC;
• managing and controlling school property;
• budgeting and expending funds;
• retaining a small surplus;
• making policy;
• operating schools;
• facilitating community use of schools;
• initiating school establishment and closures;
• flexibility respecting local curriculum;
• placing students in classes, grades, programs, services and schools;
• developing district education plans;
• entering into agreements;
• reviewing and approving the district performance report prepared by the
• reviewing the school improvement plan and school performance report
for each school in the district;
• maintaining communication links between the DEC and the Parent
School Support Committee (PSSC),
• reviewing and overseeing the expenditure of trust funds;
• identifying priorities respecting capital construction projects;
• providing training for members of each PSSC.
Accountability is assured throughout the system:
• DECs operate with local flexibility within provincial policies and
• The Minister can take action if service standards are not met/policies
• DECs cannot run a deficit.
• DECs will use provincial accounting systems and will be subject to
• Schools, districts and the Department will update their plans annually
and report publicly on results.
• There will be more stringent reporting requirements respecting non-
The Minister will:
• establish the program of studies, while allowing DECs flexibility on
• administer tests and monitor achievement;
• set provincial educational and service goals and standards;
• intervene if standards are not being met;