2024 Spring Newsletter

Spring Newsletter Cover

It’s been a busy year so far.  Seven columns by PCE’s Executive Director, seven television appearances, meetings with politicians, numerous local talks, course offerings, and coaching sessions. Between meetings, writing, and researching, it is high time to inform you of all that is going on.

In the News

So, let’s start off with the craziest thing we’ve seen this season.  The Alberta Teachers’ Association, apparently in collaboration with SOGI 123, has announced that they will fight school board elections.  They also demanded more government spending and more taxes – not just in education, but in everything. They’re spending big, big dollars on advertising. The strangest thing?  Apparently, they are planning to fund activist groups to try to “cancel” the United Conservative Party – and have already tried to do so. We wrote a report, Alberta's Teachers Go to War, on the ATA's efforts to cancel a meeting held for parents concerned about their children.  You can also view the presentation, What is Happening in the Classroom, given by our Executive Director, John Hilton-O'Brien at that meeting.

Just before that, the Public School Boards Association of Alberta produced an official-looking report by their in-house economist, which argued that we should eliminate all forms of education but theirs, so that they could have the money.  It is notable that it largely matches the ATA’s demands. You can review our analysis: Greed, ambition and the Public School Boards’ Association of Alberta

Since our last newsletter we have published seven columns in the Western Standard.  You can catch up on any that you may have missed on our publications page, or possibly listed below with some great articles from other people..  

After the Premier’s announcement of her parental rights policy, we had a flurry of interviews and we are grateful that we were able to represent our supporters with common sense in the face of outrage by special interest groups against Premier Smith’s announcements.  Here are seven reports by major media that came out of those interviews.  

Forming Leaders to Help Alberta Families

Groups of concerned citizens have been forming across Alberta, targeting school board and municipal races. Many have taken our workshops, and been galvanized into action.

We have also been called upon to provide coaching on advocacy.  We’ve consulted with a large number of individuals who turned to us privately for help with issues they had at their children’s schools, plans to run awareness campaigns, and further help with implementing strategies they learned at our election workshops.

We’ve given a number of presentations.  Some of these were election workshops, and others involved speaking on a topic chosen by the group that invited us. For instance, the "What is Happening in the Classroom," was hosted by the United Conservative Party's Calgary-Lougheed Constituency Association at their "Let Kids Be Kids Town Hall."

You, too, can invite us to speak on issues relating to educational policy or parental authority. 

We can taylor a talk to your group's needs and have given talks on the following topics:

  • How to elect better trustees and councilors - and how to be a better board member. 
  • How to advocate for your child
  • The Education Establishment, Curriculum Reform, and Wokeism
  • Critical Theory, Diversity and Inclusion, and other topics in educational philosophy
  • We can also give talks about ethics, human rights, and how to start your own advocacy organization

Please contact our executive director, John Hilton O'Brien, at [email protected].

We Need Your Support

So, here’s the hard bit.  We’ve been able to do all of this because of the generosity of our donors.  Most of our donors give us a little bit every month – together, it is just enough to keep the lights on. 

But we are ambitious to do more:

  • to help more people in Alberta mobilize to fight elections, 
  • to publish a more frequent newsletter,
  • to spend more staff hours on the kind of investigation that breaks stories like the ATA’s new political project,
  • to reorganize our website to make resources easier to find, (and we have lots of new material to add)
  • to start making our own videos.

If we had enough money, we’d even be able to counter the ATA’s third-party advertising spending.

If you’d like to help, all it takes is a monthly donation.  – anything between $10 per month and $100.  We’re hoping to add $2,500 in monthly donations to bring up our staffing levels and start making videos.  We hope that you can help us get there!

Before we go, we’ll leave you with some interesting articles written by us and others, below.  We hope that this reading material will be entertaining and educational for you!

Thanks for reading!

The Parents for Choice in Education Team



PCE Articles You May Have Missed

April 1st, 2024 - Western Standard
Alberta's Teachers go to war

March 26th, 2024 - Western Standard
Greed, ambition and the Public School Boards’ Association of Alberta

March 14th, 2024 - Western Standard
Teachers' union has its eye on Hoffman for NDP leadership

February 7th, 2024 - Western Standard
Activists stage walkouts, but families just leave.

February 1st, 2024 - Western Standard
Smith's parental rights announcement is better than expected.

January 31, 2024 - Western Standard
Will Smith's parental rights policy do the job?

January 18, 2024 - Western Standard
Happy "Graduation," Rachel Notley.


Other Articles

One of the best arguments for school choice is that it is a human right as William Forrestal put it when he argued for publicly-funded educational choice in Atlantic Canada.  His article is particularly interesting for its reference to the UN’s Convention on Discrimination in Education.

You can brush up on an excellent primer on private school vouchers, while written for the United States, contains summaries of serious studies on the economic and social impact of school choice programs over time.

The Fraser Institute recently commented on some new empirical research in education in a piece titled "All provinces—not just Alberta—should embrace charter schools."  The data shows that Charter schools create excellent opportunities for students – particularly for those from low-income families.  

Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative Party has apparently adopted the position that "Parental consent should be required for pronoun changes" at school. The decision of the Manitoba NDP to invest political capital in attacking them over it is probably not a winning strategy.

This student newspaper article titled "Rights for queer students threatened under new policy 713" explains that progressive advocates are launching “lawfare” attacks against provinces implementing pronoun policies. Simply put, such organizations view any attempt to check their authority as harmful, and fear the expansion of such legislation.