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Tt is to be hoped that at last the serious defects of the Education Act m regard to the provisions for the elections of sohool committees, which have resulted m muddles and complications, which have become a public scandal, will be remedied. It is certainly not the fault of the House of liepresentatives that such a state of things has been allowed to continue so long, Major Steward's Educational Franchise Bill having passed session atter session, and being now for the sixth sent up tot the Verdict of the Council , which is certainly not justified m holding' out. any longer against a reform which has been called for m all parts of the colony. The Bill has passed the House as printed with the exception of the addition of a special franchise m the case of school districts situated within the goldfields, the definition of that hitherto very troublesome word, " Householder " now standing as follows; — ''Householders 'mean and includes every adult, male or female person who, (being the owner, lessee or tenant), resides m any dwelling-house within the school distriot, and the parent or guardian, or other person, who is liable to maintain, or has the actual custody of any child attending any state school situated within 5 sfrob/t district,; p> mi (sohobl districts situated within -the boundaries of a proclaimed goldfield), every holder of a miner's right not being an alien." School teachers or other paid servants of the Education Depart ihent, or oi any School Committee ar disqualified for election as members o committee, and it is declared that the word "dwelling house " shall not include, a tent or other temporary shelter, Candidates for election are to be. nominated a week before hand, and a list of the nominations is to be posted on the door of the school house. There is to be no ballot when tha number of candidates does not exceed, seven, the provisions as to the conduct of the election being as follows : — When, upon the day appointed therefor, the annual eleotion of Committee is proceeded with, the Chairman presiding at each meeting of householders sha.ll read or cause to be read , the list of persons "noininated for election, and if seven householders and no more have been duly nominated such seven persons shall be declared duly elected. If three or more householders, but less than seven, shall have been so nominated they shall be deolared duly eleoted, and shall proceed, at their first meeting as a Committee, to add to their number such additional number of the honseholders as shall bring up at the total number of the Committee to seven. If less than three householders Bh.a,U have .been ; so nominated, not heiqg a njember or. members of the outgoing Committee, then the name or names of such person or persons together with the names of the members of the outgoing Committee shall be sub mittcd to ballot, and the seven persons, receiving the largest of votes shall be declare 4 duly elected, •If less than three householders, being a member or members of the outgoing Committee, shall have been so nominated, or if no nominations shall have been received, then m either case the outgoing Committee shall continue m office. If only two householders shall been so nominated, and one of them only is a member oi the outgoing Committee, then their names together with the names of the remaining members of the outgoing Committee shall be Buhmttted to ballot,, and the seven persons reoeiving the largest number of votes shall fee deolared duly eleoted. If more than seven nominations duly made as aforesaid shall have been received, then the names of the person^ nominated shall be submitted to ballot, and the seven persons receiving the highest number of votes s.haU be declared duly elected : Provided always that, notwithstanding anything m the said Act contained, at any ballot taken for the eleption, of a School Gommjttee by for members of a School Committee, at any oleotion held m accordance with the provisions of the said Apt, "The .Eduoation Aot 1877 Amendment Act, 1885," and this Act, every householder may exercise as many votes as {here are persons required to be eleoted, or any less number of votes : bqt no householder shall bo entitled' to record more |>han one vote for any one candidate." Like the postscript to a lady's letter this provißo as will be seen, is the most important feature of the whole Bill and is indeed the real bone of contention. It has, however, been so conclusively proved that the cumulative vo.te has altogether failed of securing the object it was intended to secure and has on the other hand developed grave abusos that wo hope the Legislative Council will accept the clause as it stands and pass the Bill without any manorial alteration.

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Bibliographic details

THE EDUCATIONAL FRANCHISE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2178, 20 July 1889

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THE EDUCATIONAL FRANCHISE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2178, 20 July 1889