Media releases | September 13, 2006

EDMONTON—Public Interest Alberta (PIA) launched a province-wide advocacy campaign today calling upon the provincial government to deal with urgent issues in education and to "develop the full potential of all Alberta students.""Despite Alberta's remarkable wealth, most Albertans can clearly see that our education system has not been given the resources or supports required to develop the full potential of all students," says Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of PIA. "There are too many children falling through the cracks, and the gifts and talents of too many students are lost due to the continuing strains in our education system."Susan O'Neil, a parent advocate with Action for Education says, "Parents have been asking over and over again for this government to make K -12 education a real priority in this province - to invest in a system that ensures that every child reaches their full potential. Our kids have been waiting too long.""Teaching is all about helping students to achieve their full potential as learners, citizens and human beings," says Frank Bruseker, President of the Alberta Teachers' Association. "But while some progress has been made toward achieving this objective, much remains to be done if we are to realize the full potential of this province and its young people. Alberta teachers welcome and support Public Interest Alberta's initiative to provide citizens with an opportunity to have their say about what is important for the future of education and what must be done now.""Government educational funding rarely considers the importance of the many dedicated employees who play such an important behind the scenes role in the education of our children," says Veronica Slavik, from the Edmonton Catholic Support Staff Association (CEP Local 52-A). "Support services are an essential ingredient in the education of our youth. We must have the foresight to realize that the future of all Albertans depends on the education and development of a strong, qualified, committed workforce."There are two main components of the campaign. First, people are asked to send a printed postcard or to use PIA's website (www.pialberta.org) to send an electronic postcard to Education Minister Gene Zwozdesky and their MLA about the key improvements they want to see in our education system.The second part of the campaign asks individuals to fill out an independent online survey about important aspects of our public education system. Public Interest Alberta has contracted Burke and Associates to develop one of the most comprehensive surveys to be conducted on public education in Alberta.- 30 -

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