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Peace Wapiti Public School Division
Educating today for success tomorrow
Peace Wapiti Public School Division No. 76
News Item

Have your say: Complete the Choice in Education Survey by December 6, 2019

November 18, 2019

The government is developing legislation on a proposed Choice in Education Act, expected to be introduced in the spring of 2020.

This proposed Act will further refine the governing Education legislation to affirm parents’ rights as primary decision-makers in their child’s education and support the range of choice within the current education system.

Alberta offers a number of education options that allow parents to select the path they feel will best help their children reach their full potential. 
Please see the descriptions below. (or download file here)

Participating in the online survey is an opportunity to protect, improve and enhance education choice in Alberta
including: public and separate schools, Francophone schools, charter schools, private schools, early childhood education and home education.


Please distribute the survey broadly
 to all school community members.

The 
online survey is open until December 6, 2019.

hard copy of the survey can be downloaded, and returned by email to: edc.choiceineduc@gov.ab.ca

o
r by fax to: 780-422-5126 Attention Policy Development and Coordination, Alberta Education

or by mail to:

Attention: Tara Sliwkanich
9th Floor, Commerce Place
10155, 102 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4L5

Insights regarding how to enhance choice in education within our current system, and feedback from the survey will be used in shaping the proposed Choice in Education Act.

Link to the Government News Release

Education Options (Government website)

Definitions of School and Program Types in Alberta


Public

  • Provide programming to any eligible student living in the designated area
  • Teach the Alberta curriculum, and may offer optional programming to meet local demand (e.g. languages, sports, arts)
  • Must accept all resident students and all others if there is space and/or program availability

Separate

  • Primarily Catholic; constitutional right to minority religious education under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • Operate under the same programming and accountability requirements as public schools, but offer a fully faith-based permeated curriculum and school environment

Francophone

  • Can be public or separate
  • Offer first-language French education (distinct from French immersion) based on Charter rights

Charter

  • Autonomous non-profit organizations that provide education based on charter with the Minister
  • Intended to provide education with a particular focus or teaching approach, or to meet the needs of a particular group generally not offered in the public system (e.g. STEM, English Language Learning, academically gifted programming, arts- focused programming, )

Private

  • Include registered, accredited and accredited-funded
  • Accredited-funded programs are required to offer provincial programs of study, diploma exams,
  • Are permitted to charge tuition fees to parents

Home education

  • Educational programming provided by parents
  • Must be supervised by a school board (public or separate) or accredited private school operator


Alternative programs

  • Education program operated by either a public or separate school
  • Programs emphasize a particular language, culture, religion, subject matter or teaching
  • Not permitted to charge tuition, but may include non-instructional costs (i.e. field trips for sports teams)

Shared Responsibility Programs

  • A parent and school authority may agree to share responsibility for student’s education
  • Combines parent-directed and teacher-directed education through flexible programming
  • Teacher-directed instruction is delivered by Alberta certified teacher and follows Alberta programs of study
  • May be provided through online means

First Nation Band Operated School

  • Most First Nations students living on-reserve have the choice to attend either Provincial School Authorities or First Nation Band Operated schools
  • Funded by the federal government and are operated autonomously by their respective First Nation or First Nation School Authority. Band Operated Schools can follow Alberta Education curriculum in order to grant Alberta Education credentials
  • Alberta Education respects the jurisdiction of First Nations
  • Through Education Services Agreements (between school boards and First Nations) on-reserve students can attend provincial schools in accordance with the terms of the negotiated agreement. Off reserve students can attend a band operated school at the discretion of the First Nation

Choice in Education Act

In their election platform as part of their commitment to education, the UCP government stated it will:


- Introduce a 
Choice in Education Act which will
  • Affirm parents have primary responsibility for the education of their children
  • Add to the preamble of the Education Act recognition of Section 26.3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.”
  • Protect the status and funding of independent schools in legislation given that they save the public education system $168 million annually.


- Facilitate the creation and operation of new charter schools by
  • Lifting the cap on the number of charter schools

  • Lifting charter school enrolment caps

  • Allowing charter schools to own property

  • Treat charter schools as priorities above other possible uses for surplus public-school infrastructure.


- S
upport and encourage an expansion of alternative programs in the public system
- Respect the constitutional right to separate schools
- Maintain funding for independent schools and home schoolers at current levels
- Encourage the sharing of busing and infrastructure where appropriate, while respecting the distinctive nature of both systems
- Amend the Education Act to implement the Leadership Quality Standards
- Ensure that requests from parents for blended homeschool programs are facilitated

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Source: Alberta School Councils' Association

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