Public board of trustees

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Public board of trustees
Government of New Ingerland
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A public board is a public body corporate that manage all of New Ingerland's public schools or hospitals in a local area.



The origin of the public boards can be traced to the reforms of the second Braddock ministry that served between 1963 and 1966. In the lead up to the 1963 election, Braddock had campaigned on a promise that the administration of all schools and hospitals would be turned over their local communities. The promise formed a key policy plank of Democratic Party's localism agenda that held the belief that the administration of public assets should be devolved to the lowest practical level possible.

Having won the election easily, Braddock brought forward a series of bills to Parliament in early 1964 that turned control of schools and hospitals over to their local communities. The administration of these bodies would be carried out by a board of trustees elected in non-compulsory elections to be held every year. Whilst each hospital would have its own board, schools would be drawn together into districts with all primary and secondary schools in a local area administered by a single board. The boundaries of these boards were to be drawn up by the Ministry of Education, with significant input from the local community on the exact location of each board. The bills easily passed the House of Assembly in March 1964, and after some amendments also made their way through the Senate three months later. The first elections to the district boards of trustees took place in November 1964 for the forthcoming year.

Function and role

All district boards are elected in annual non-compulsory elections, which are open to all voters over the age of twenty-one. The district boards are the legal owner of all the schools or hospitals in their local area; with education boards being usually coterminous with the municipalities, whilst the health boards encompass whole counties or the archdeaconries/ridings in the case of Centralia. In addition, the boards of trustees also help determine how these institutions are run, and are responsible for the employment of each hospital administrator/school headmaster (who in turn has the full executive authority to hire or sack any doctor/nurse/teacher under their control), and setting some of the finer details of the National Curriculum or National Health Plan that the board wishes to focus on.

The boards are responsible to their local communities for the performance of the schools or hospitals under their care. In most instances, the management of schools are grouped together, whilst most hospitals are administered on their own. In addition to being made to face the electorate on an annual basis, the boards must publish performance statistics each year, which are published and made publicly available for the electorate to scrutinise.

The boards share policy decisions with either the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Health.

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