Consultations have been launched with school boards and parents by the provincial government to discuss transportation, fees and other issues to help protect and improve education.
Alberta Education kicked off the engagement sessions in Red Deer to review the School Act on Sept. 6, says a government news release.
The sessions are set to discuss potential amendments to the School Act, legislation that has governed education in Alberta for almost three decades.
The act establishes the goals, roles and responsibilities in the system for kindergarten to Grade 12.
Gatherings will feature discussions about topics that have been identified as areas of interest by school boards, First Nations leaders and other stakeholders.
“Our government is working to making life better for students and their families,” Education Minister David Eggen says.
“We committed that we would look at our current busing model and other areas of importance as we work to protect and improve education.”
The School Act has served Alberta’s students well for almost 30 years, he says.
“Working together with our partners, we can make sure that our education legislation continues to serve our students as they prepare for their futures.”
Throughout September, Alberta Education will host engagement sessions in Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton.
Provincial school division associations appreciate the opportunity to improve the act.
“Members of the Public School Boards’ Association of Alberta first became involved in discussions regarding the School Act in 2009 and are very pleased to see the act opened for amendment,” president Arlene Hrynyk says.
“Our association believes strongly in local autonomy and we are pleased to see school boards invited to participate in this important consultation.
“I know that our members’ wisdom will prove to be invaluable as we work collectively to shape public education in Alberta.”
Alberta School Boards Association supports the program.
“School boards are very interested in these issues as they have a direct impact on the delivery of education,” president Mary Martin says.
“We are looking forward to the opportunity to inform the direction that legislative change might take and to provide valuable input into the process in the best interest of Alberta families and their children.”
The Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association appreciates the efforts by Alberta Education to continue its stakeholder engagement and consultation process.
“We look forward to the upcoming series of consultations and discussions regarding proposed changes to regulations and legislation relating to education,” says president Adriana LaGrange.
“The ACSTA has been actively engaged and is prepared to continue to represent our members particularly in this important work of updating and revisions to the School Act.”