At the beginning of March we met with Education Minister David Eggen in Calgary. We have developed a strong working relationship with Minister Eggen. It is great to get support from the provincial government that advocating for public is important and valuable work. We discussed the impact of the provincial budget on education. We reiterated that for education to be truly equitable and accessible in Alberta the issues of eliminating school fees, reducing class size and increasing per student funding must be addressed. We will be in Edmonton on April 14 for the provincial budget. We have been invited to the stakeholder debriefing and hope to hear some good news for Alberta students.
Bill 10 Guidelines and LGBTQ Students
One of our biggest inspirations over the past few months are the students, parents, teachers, administrators, and other allies who have worked to support LGBTQ youth in Alberta schools. Minister David Eggen has shown leadership in ensuring Bill 10 legislation is brought into practice at Alberta schools. On March 29 we attended the CBE Board of Trustee meeting and spoke in support of the CBE policy changes related to Bill 10. SOS Alberta strongly advocates for barrier-free access to public education. We believe in safe and supportive learning environments for LGBTQ students across Alberta as this upholds our students inalienable right to education free of discrimination. We believe that these guidelines, and the resultant policies developed by Alberta school boards, are a move towards creating a stronger, more supportive future for Alberta’s schools that allow barrier-free access to public education.
Students of Alberta
We’ve all heard of Humans of New York and here in Alberta we now have Students of Alberta. OnMarch 11 we launched a new initiative on our Facebook page highlighting Alberta students. Every week we feature a different Alberta student, sharing their story in their own words. We’ve had some wonderful submissions and we strongly encourage everyone to take a look by visiting our Facebook page . We are always looking for submissions and are keen to share student experiences. What is your favourite part of school, what you do like or don’t like? Any story you would like to share we want to hear it! And a huge thank you to our contributors.
Progressive Cultural Association
Recently we were invited by Gurbachan Brar of the Progressive Cultural Association of Calgary (PCAC) to attend their monthly meeting to speak about education issues. PCAC is a group of Calgarians who meet once a month to discuss current political and social issues. We had an energetic discussion, with Punjabi translation about public education and religion. The consensus of the group was that public education should be available to all children in Alberta regardless of religion, cultural group, language or economic issues, and that there should be a separation of religion and school. It was fun to share ideas with this group and we would love to connect with them again.
CBE – Budget and Transportation Public Engagement
The CBE recently held several public engagement sessions and we took the opportunity to attend. The sessions focused on the CBE budget and transportation issues. We are always looking to better understand all the factors that affect education. These sessions are an important opportunity for us to meet and interact with parents, board administration and trustees.
Thanks to everyone who has offered support and encouragement over the past year. If you would like more information or if you have any questions or concerns regarding SOS Alberta or education in Alberta please feel free to contact us. If you would like to become more involved with SOS Alberta we are hosting a meeting in Calgary Sunday April 17 at 2:00pm. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to attend.