March has been a busy month behind-the-scenes, preparing for several exciting developments and events in the upcoming weeks.
PCE is pleased to have Exhibit Hall booths at both the Alberta Home Education Association (AHEA) Convention on April 13-14, as well as at the United Conservative Party (UCP) Annual General Meeting from May 4-6, both in Red Deer.
For those attending these events, feel free to visit Donna Trimble and Theresa Ng at the PCE booth - it would be great to meet you!
PCE wants to thank all our one-time and monthly donors for supporting our advocacy work, including being able to have our organization represented at various events across the province. To enable PCE to continue spreading awareness and engaging Albertans on important education topics, please consider donating here.
1. CALLS TO STRIP SCHOOL FUNDING THWARTED
Like clockwork -- just before the March provincial budget was released -- a group of organizations once again loudly demanded the stripping of funding to independent schools to serve their own interests, instead of the interests of all children in Alberta.
PCE repeatedly confronts the false rhetoric from those seeking to monopolize education into a one-size-fits-all, union-controlled system, including last year's newspaper column entitled “Special interests ahead of kids?”, as well as February's PCE radio interview and Calgary Sun column.
We are thankful to announce that efforts to defund private schools were unsuccessful so far, as this year's budget did not include any changes to the funding model for independent schools.
2. PCE PRESENTATIONS – STAY IN THE LOOP!
PCE is preparing to do several presentations across Alberta over the next couple of months. Invitations to these events will only be sent to people who reside in the relevant geographic area.
To receive PCE event invitations in your area, please ensure you have signed-up on our homepage with your postal code.
NOTE: If you received emails prior to our website switch-over last summer and have never signed up on our new site, it is likely we do not have a postal code on file and therefore you would not receive these event invitations.
If you’re unsure whether PCE has a postal code on file, feel free to simply go to our homepage and sign up again to ensure all your information is complete in our system.
3. UCP MEMBERS - IMPORTANT REMINDERS
For PCE supporters who are members of the United Conservative Party (UCP) right now is a critical time to show up and participate in the following two opportunities to help make a tremendous impact as we advocate for excellence in education through maximum parental choice.
A) Second Online Survey
Several excellent education-related policy proposals are being considered for inclusion in the UCP founding documents and it is extremely important for UCP members to complete as many of the online surveys as possible to ensure their voices are heard. Details of the full process are available here. Deadline: April 23, 2018
There are 10 surveys in total - 3 for governance and 7 for policy.
Each of the 7 policy surveys focuses on different topics and includes approx 125 member-submitted proposals that you can vote "YES" or "NO", or leave blank.
At the very least, we recommend completing the following three surveys:
A UCP membership number will be required and if you don't know what it is, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-465-2660 ext 5.
B) UCP Annual General Meeting (AGM) May 4-6, 2018
Final decisions regarding policies, governance by-laws and Executive Council will be decided at the AGM, based only on the votes of the members who attend.
These decisions will be critically important to the future direction of the UCP and we encourage as many PCE supporters to attend as possible.
The decision-making part of the AGM takes place on Saturday May 5th and Sunday May 6th in Red Deer. Early bird deadline is fast approaching (April 6th) to purchase tickets online for a rate of $249.
Anyone 14+ years of age who becomes a UCP member prior to midnight on April 13th is eligible to attend and vote in the AGM.
For any of our supporters who purchase AGM tickets, please let us know by signing up here (or use the button below) so we can keep you up-to-date about critical votes and exclusive opportunities happening that weekend.
REMEMBER: The more PCE supporters who are engaged in these opportunities, the greater our impact.
IN THE NEWS
As part of our monthly update we have included below a number of important education-related articles/resources that were published recently.
Editorial: Private schools save money
Calgary Herald, 02.24.2018
“The motion urging Eggen to wean private schools off the public treasury passed 8-1, with only trustee Sherry Adams demonstrating the wisdom her colleagues apparently lack. Adams noted the five per cent of Alberta students who attend independent schools receive just two per cent of provincial education funding. That seems like a good deal for taxpayers.
Adams added that if public funding dried up, some private schools would be forced to close their doors, and education expenses would rise as pupils flowed into the public system... Besides, the notion that private schools are elitist is a mischaracterization.” [READ MORE]
The Origin of Public Funding for Private Schools in Alberta
Article by Dr. Michael Wagner, published in the Winter 2018 issue of AHEA’s HOME Matters magazine
“The key point here is that private school funding began as a result of Christian political activism... From a political science perspective, this episode is a classic example of successful interest group politics. A relatively small group of people, dedicated to their cause and highly motivated, lobbied the government and individual MLAs, and eventually accomplished their goal.” [READ MORE]
Playing Matchmaker: Cultivating Relationships with Teachers and Adults Who Care for Our Kids
Article by Dr. Deborah MacNamara, clinical counsellor and Faculty member of the Gordon Neufeld Institute
"It is fine to introduce children to many adults as long as we keep their attachment hierarchy in place. The parent(s) need to be at the top of the hierarchy with all other adults falling under them...
If a child sees a parent being reprimanded, dismissed, or treated poorly by other adults, it can threaten their attachment hierarchy with the parent at the helm. If a parent needs support, then it is best to provide it in a way that preserves the parent’s role in the eyes of a child. Admonishing parents in front of their child can hurt a child in the long run. They need to feel and believe their parents know how to care for them, even if the parent needs support in being able to do this." [READ MORE]
Alberta students seek support; get sex material instead
Informed Albertans blog, 03.13.2018
“Today marks one year since I exposed on my blog how a government-funded and recommended resource for K-12 students led to sexually graphic material.
…Some have suggested that since the Alberta government ensured that offensive links were swiftly removed from the website resource following my blog article that the problem is solved and the issue should no longer be pursued. But they are wrong.” [READ MORE]