Provincial government still refusing to fund improvements to classroom conditions and safety as students head back to school
EDMONTON - Despite last week’s announcement of $262.8 million in federal funding to help re-open Alberta schools safely, public education advocates are still ringing the alarm about conditions in Alberta’s classrooms. The 2002 Alberta Commission on Learning (ACOL) set targets for school class sizes that the province has consistently failed to meet.Read more
EDMONTON - The Alberta government has introduced its much-anticipated Choice in Education Act, which entrenches public subsidies of private schools in legislation and facilitates expansion of charter schools and home schooling. The changes represent a further fragmentation of the province’s delivery of education and come as funding cuts continue to devastate public schools, with growing class sizes and diminishing levels of classroom supports.Read more
In an article titled “NDP child care plan shows vast gap with UCP policy” published on March 26, 2019, Don Braid wrote about the NDP’s plan to expand the $25 a day child care pilot program that would create additional child care spaces and bring affordable, quality child care to Albertan families. Mr. Braid noted the large investment required to make this a reality and asks whether “voters will see this as a major social benefit and economic driver or just another expense the province can’t afford.”Read more
Just before the election call on March 19, the NDP tabled Bill One, which provides a strong statement about the need to take a stand against policies of health care privatization, and the steps that are needed to effectively do so.Read more
EDMONTON - United Conservative Party (UCP) Leader Jason Kenney announced his party’s K-12 education platform. Despite the platform containing several points, issues affecting classroom conditions were not presented as priorities.Read more
EDMONTON - Public Interest Alberta, a non-partisan progressive advocacy organization, encouraged support for Edmonton Public Trustee Bridget Stirling’s motion, to ensure the public nature of school ownership and operation:Read more
For some time, Albertans have been concerned with the privatization of education. The concerns centre around the equity of publicly funding schools that charge tuition in the tens of thousands of dollars. People argue further that we must protect public schools from the threat of privatization. But the truth of the matter is privatization is already here and it’s already operating under the public umbrella. We’ve built our system around a competition model, where the more students a school has, the more funding the school gets.Read more
Originally published in the September 2018 issue of Alberta Views magazine.
"Our province has Canada’s most generous subsidies for private schools. Setting aside those private schools serving children with special needs, many of which fill gaps in our public systems, the Alberta government spends $110-million per year subsidizing private schools. This would be far better spent supporting students in public schools.
Parents enrolling children in private schools choose to opt out of their local public, Catholic or francophone system. They certainly have the right to do so, but they shouldn’t expect the public to fund that choice. Similarly, public funding makes library books available to anyone at no charge. Some people instead buy books from a bookstore, but they don’t expect the government to subsidize those purchases."
Read the full article.Read more
Public Interest Alberta is pleased to release Priorities for Advancing the Public Interest.Read more
The Alberta government has released its 2018 budget, which includes effective cuts to most areas of public services, as spending fails to keep pace with inflation and population growth.
“The piecemeal cuts to public services in the budget take Alberta in the wrong direction, but the striking thing is what is not in the budget,” said Joel French, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “Absent are many things Albertans need, like improved classroom conditions in schools and addressing the shortage of long-term care beds for seniors.”