Alberta Budget Day April 14, 2016
It was a beautiful day to travel to Edmonton to the Legislature for Budget Day! We were invited to attend the stakeholder lockup and the Budget speech.
As education advocates we are keenly interested in how government prioritizes education in this province. As advocates for a strong, quality and equitable public education system we are pleased with the progress this government has made to responsibly fund education.
By committing to fully fund enrolment growth, this government demonstrates the understanding that education is an investment that pays dividends. This budget also shows a firm commitment to repairing damage caused by the previous government's year over year of education underfunding.
The commitment to forge ahead with capital projects, such as schools and modernization projects, starts to fill a long standing gap that has gone unaddressed for too long. Forty eight of those projects are on track to being finalized by September, giving Alberta students safe, accessible learning environments.
We believe strongly that the quality and accessibility of a child's education should not be contingent on the price of oil. This government's budget and dedication to funding enrolment echoes this sentiment.
We look forward to continuing to work with a government who shares our commitment to public education.
Students of Alberta
SOS Alberta wants to give you the chance to highlight your student and their experience in schools across Alberta.
These Facebook posts will be student-centred, to highlight and share their daily experiences. We will not name your student, but please include their age, grade and school board. We will consider any photos included as permission to post. Your photo can show as much or as little of your student, depending on your comfort level.
This is an excellent opportunity to start a dialogue with the student(s) in your life and to highlight the diversity of experiences in Alberta's public education system.
Our first student will be featured on Friday, March 11. Please go to our Facebook page and send us your submissions for future Students of Alberta posts.
April 2016 Update
The weather in Alberta is warming up and here at SOS Alberta we are gearing up for a busy spring. We have had some great opportunities recently to reach out to Albertans to talk about public education. Whether we are in a formal meeting, on the playground, or tweeting the latest education policy article, education is an issue that always sparks a lively debate. We are encouraged and inspired by the people we have met and we will continue working towards improving the public education system for Alberta students. We are always ready to listen and we have many opportunities for anyone to participate, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime.
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
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 email@example.com to attend.