There has been some interesting news about what our kids are learning recently. Here at Parents for Choice in Education (PCE), we’re hearing about teachers asserting that math is racist, teachers wearing outrageous cross-dressing outfits in the classroom, and Human Rights Tribunals protecting teachers and schools that foist gender ideology on surprisingly young students. The lunatics seem to be in charge of the asylum!
We have recently published an article on how premature sexualization harms children. Our Executive Director, John Hilton-O'Brien, will be appearing on a live taped version of the Andrew Lawton Show this Saturday, September 24th. This event takes place at the Canada Strong and Free Networking Conference, and may be viewable (will be posted Monday, September 26th) on Lawton’s website. If you can, please watch and share with others.
Here are five things that we’ve done this past summer:
- We ran a forum on education for the candidates for the UCP leadership. You can view the responses of candidates to individual questions on our website.
- The online magazine C2C Journal carried an article about Alberta’s curriculum reform. It referred extensively to John’s appearance at the Canada Strong and Free Network conference in Ottawa this spring.
- We spoke at meetings for local parental rights groups.
- The support package we offer for school board candidates across the country has been upgraded. It is available on request to candidates who support parental rights.
- An updated page on educational materials that strip parental rights is available on our website.
Our advocacy has borne fruit in two different areas this summer:
- The Supplementary Enrollment grant for growing schools that we advocated for has been finalized. School authorities growing between 2% and 5% will get less than 25% of base funding per extra student, and those growing by more than 5% will get almost 50% of base funding for those students. We are both disappointed and pleased by this. While we are disappointed with the amounts, we are happy that school authorities will have reliable funding. Prior to this, independent schools in particular had to beg for additional funds, and were very disappointed with the results: the new scheme at least makes the amounts reliable.
- So far, 20 of Alberta’s 59 public and Catholic school boards have repealed Notley’s gag order. It forbade teachers from telling parents about their children’s participation in controversial activities such as religious ceremonies or presentations on transgenderism, regardless of circumstances or the judgement of staff. This is a tremendous amount of movement over the past year.
There are four things we plan to do this fall. Our ability to do these things depends on our funding:
- Continue to advocate for a fair and equitable funding model. This will include continuing with research to support our efforts, and directly lobbying the Minister’s office.
- We intend to lobby the 39 school boards that still have Notley’s gag order for teachers, and think many will be receptive if we can make presentations to them directly.
- We will continue to offer support for people running for political office who want to advocate for parental rights - especially those looking for election as school trustees.
- Local parent groups are the most important component in advocating for parental rights. We plan to continue to support and train any such groups that ask us to. If you know of a parental rights group, tell them about us. We would love to speak to them and help them in their efforts.
There are a lot of opportunities to make a difference right now. The government was willing to move on funding for growing schools, which may herald a willingness to revisit fair and equitable funding models – especially under a new leader. As the needle moves on parental information rights, we expect to find a favourable reception from many school boards – some of which may not be aware of alternatives to Notley’s gag order. There is a growing interest in school board races Canada-wide, and the end of Covid restrictions makes it much easier for parents to meet in person. This is a year of opportunities.
If you’re not currently a financial supporter of PCE, we hope that you will take the opportunity to sign up for a small monthly contribution. For the cost of a cup of coffee, you can help to convince school boards to keep parents in the loop, make sure that school choice is adequately funded, and help local people organize to push for parental rights and improve school boards. You will make a real difference in the lives of families in Alberta and across Canada.