The Catholic Education Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, a case study in interest articulation

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Clemens, Michelle T.
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Historically the school system in Newfoundland and Labrador has been organized on denominational lines. In 1992, the Royal Commission on Education tabled its report after a public study into the organization and delivery of primary, elementary and secondary education in that province. A focal recommendation of the report was to reorganize schools along neighbourhood lines and not denominational lines and to drastically alter the input and control that the churches had over the school system in that province. The Roman Catholic Church saw its legislatively mandated Catholic Education Council as an important vehicle in any attempt to prevent this shift in governance from taking place. As a body regulatory of Catholic schools and advisory to the Minister of Education and the Cabinet, the CEC engaged in a process of interest articulation with the provincial government using its institutional status and legal powers to sustain its role as a denominational advocate. This study examines its advocacy role especially during 1993-95, when competing proposals of school governance were advanced by the CEC (along with other churches), and by the government. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)