Edmonton Public Schools is trying to push the provincial government to give them capital dollars for new schools, but also to allow them to sell off school currently being leased to charter school operations. Education Minister Jeff Johnson, on the other hand, has said that it is important that charter schools be given the support and stability that they need. You can read the story and some of the back and forth here.
In our view, because Edmonton Public and charter schools both receive money from taxpayers, they should be working together to offer flexible and quality education to students. If the public has paid to build schools which are now being used by charter schools, it makes no sense for these properties to be sold off to someone else, and then to force these charter schools to build new schools from scratch. Charter schools should be given long-term leases on these properties and the very least, so that they can continue to offer choice to students.
This is the kind of conflict one can expect when school board officials don’t believe in educational choice – they are more focused on trying to force out alternative options (charter schools) then collaborating in the interests of students.