The government’s move to expand recruitment criteria for school boards requires a cautious approach.
The proposed change would consider criteria such as the member’s gender, sexuality and gender.
In submitting Education and Training Amendment Bill No. 3, the Association of Comprehensive School Operators (APIS) issued a clear warning.
APIS said any move that could limit the ability of comprehensive school administrators to “fulfill their legal rights and responsibilities to maintain and protect their special character” should be avoided.
Oakland attorney Richard McLeod’s filing also advises caution.
“National Integrated Religious Schools shall retain the right and freedom to determine the composition of their boards, in consultation with the school community in line with their particular character, without the pressure or infiltration of government ideological or gender activist groups. No,” he wrote.
“State religious schools already maintain the care and safety of their students as a top priority, in line with the protection and promotion of their students’ special character.
“There is no justifiable basis for the State to intervene in the affairs of the Council on the basis of ideology.”
Under current law, “about half the population is male and half female” must be taken into account when selecting board members. Another criterion concerns the character, or character, of the school or institution.
Specific fixes are aimed at:
- Change references to representations of men and women to “gender, sexuality and gender within the school’s student body and the communities it serves”
- Adds “Diversity of Disabled Students in Schools and Disability Communities in Schools” to the bill.
APIS said it had no problem with the language if it did not represent the special character of the school and its community “so long as appointments in these categories are not mandatory.”
In the filing, APIS also said it would not support any provision that curtails the current consolidation provisions of the law.
Impact on school boards
APIS noted that comprehensive school managers can appoint up to four people to boards of education.
In addition, current law requires that there be “at least one more elected board member than the board members recruited or appointed to”.
“Thus, in order to recruit a board member for a state integrated school, management must be prepared to resign one of the representatives,” the APIS application states.
“This is a decision that requires careful consideration, may jeopardize the maintenance and preservation of our distinctive character, and will give management greater confidence in their role in maintaining and preserving our distinctive character. Become.”
“Considering the role of management appointees in State Consolidated Schools, their selection criteria will be overriding their ability to fill the role . Assist…”
“While recognizing diversity as a valuable principle, any requirement … may conflict with the beliefs of some managers and their responsibilities as defined in . . . current law”.
additional reading material
https://cathnews.co.nz/2023/06/01/caution-urged-over-law-change-for-integrated-school-boards/ Attention to law revisions of the Integrated Board of Education