Media releases | October 15, 2010

EDMONTON—Results from Public Interest Alberta’s comprehensive survey of candidates running for school boards in Edmonton and Calgary reveal that there are important differences and views on a number of contentious educational issues.

“Voters need to fully understand where their local candidates stand on these various issues because school board trustees play a very important leadership role in defining the direction of our local education system,” says Harold Neth, Chairperson of Public Interest Alberta’s Education Task Force. “Citizens who are concerned about issues like school closures, special education, privatization or lack of funding can use this extensive survey to see if the candidates reflect their values.”

Highlights from Calgary Public. Edmonton Public and Edmonton Catholic school board candidate surveys reveal:

  • Strong support for community schools, early childhood education and inclusive education for children with special needs
  • A real split on trustees being willing to speak as individual representatives or stick to board corporate positions
  • A strong willingness to take a critical stand against the provincial government when necessary
  • Big concerns over lack of funding, but a split in the willingness to run a deficit rather than cut programs
  • Generally strong opposition to Public Private Partnerships to build new schools
  • A clear divide between those candidates who are opposed to school closures and those who will consider shutting some down some schools.

“It is good to see so much interest in the school board elections as it is an important time to debate what matters to us and what direction we want our education system to go,” says Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “It is also up to all citizens to make sure our trustees remain accountable and open once they are elected.”