Pri­va­ti­za­tion of schools to­day’s SACPA topic

Lethbridge Herald - - Hometown News | Southern Alberta - LETH­BRIDGE HER­ALD

To­day’s South­ern Alberta Coun­cil on Public Af­fairs ses­sion will dis­cuss whether the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment’s ap­proach to ed­u­ca­tion is en­cour­ag­ing pri­va­ti­za­tion of schools.

Ac­cord­ing to the SACPA re­lease, Alberta al­ready has the most choice in K12 ed­u­ca­tion in Canada, with pri­vate school pupils be­ing funded to the tune of 70 per cent per pupil com­pared to public school pupils — more than any other prov­ince. Char­ter schools, started in

1994 by Ralph Klein, re­ceive the same level of per-pupil fund­ing as public schools, but are run by pri­vate par­ent or cor­po­rate boards. No other prov­ince in Canada even has char­ter schools.

Since gain­ing power in 2019, Alberta’s UCP gov­ern­ment has lifted the cap on es­tab­lish­ing char­ter schools and is ad­vo­cat­ing for a voucher sys­tem that would in­crease the per­stu­dent public fund­ing to Alberta’s pri­vate schools from 70 to 100 per cent. The shift would ar­guably en­cour­age many more pri­vate and re­li­gious ed­u­ca­tion schools, more seg­re­ga­tion — and more in­equal­ity.

Thurs­day’s speaker is Brid­get Stir­ling, a PhD stu­dent in the Univer­sity of Alberta’s Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tional Pol­icy Stud­ies. She is in­ter­ested in chil­dren’s rights and the pol­i­tics of child­hood. Her doc­toral re­search fo­cuses on ed­u­ca­tion re­form move­ments and ed­u­ca­tion law and pol­icy in Alberta.

Alberta’s gov­ern­ment has paused the pre­vi­ous NDP gov­ern­ment’s work on cur­ricu­lum changes and is em­ploy­ing pan­els of “ex­perts,” in­clud­ing an all-male group of ad­vis­ers, to de­ter­mine an out­come. The speaker will pro­vide more back­ground on these is­sues and give her opin­ions on why a strong public school sys­tem is im­por­tant to the well-be­ing of our Alberta com­mu­ni­ties.

To­day’s SACPA ses­sion will take place at 10 a.m. on the YouTube Live link

In or­der to ask ques­tions of our speaker in the chat fea­ture of YouTube, you must have a YouTube ac­count and be signed in.

The link to SACPA’s YouTube Chan­nel is­nel/UC FUQ5mUHv1g­fmMFVr8d9d­NA.

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