October 30th, 2020

Privatization of schools today’s SACPA topic


By Jensen, Randy on September 24, 2020.

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 K-12 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 per-student 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 https://youtu.be/Ywy8-YRATi0.

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 is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFUQ5mUHv1gfmMFVr8d9dNA.

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