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School Committee Elections.

Some time ago we took occasion to point out a few of the glaring anomalies of that most unsatisfactory piece of legislation—the Education Act ; drawing particular attention to the method at present in force, by which School Committees are elected. The subject has within the last few months been very fully ventilated, and now engages the attention of Parliament, a Bill having been prepared by Mr Steward, under the title of “ The School Committees Election Act, 1882.” The measure, if it becomes law (as it is to be hoped will be the case), will completely upset the present pernicious system of “ cumulative voting.” Written nominations of persons eligible for election to School Committees are to be lodged with Chairmen of Committees not later than December sth of every year, and immediately afterwards a list of the nominations are to be displayed conspicuously on the outer door of the main entrance of every schoolhouse within the school district, and be also published once in one newspaper having general circulation in the school district concerned. On the 20th of each December, the annual householders’ meetings are to be held, when, provided that only the requisite number of candidates have been nominated, they are to be at once declared duly elected. But this is the clause that will bother the cumulative voters :—“ If more than seven persons shall have been nominated, a ballot shall be taken, and' the seven persons who shall receive the largest number of votes shall be the School Committee for the ensuing year. Provided always that no person may vote for more than seven candidates, nor record more than one vote for any one candidate.” A member absent from Committee meetings for three months is to forfeit his seat. These are the principal features of the measure framed for the reform of a system notoriously in need of reform. [Since the above was in type we learn by wire that the School Committees Electoral Bill has passed its second reading.]

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Bibliographic details

School Committee Elections., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 669, 22 June 1882

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School Committee Elections. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 669, 22 June 1882

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