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.
October and November have been quite busy for the SOS Alberta network. Here is what we’ve been working on since our last newsletter:
Alberta Budget 2015
Thank you to Calgary MLAs, Rick Fraser and Craig Coolahan, for providing SOS Alberta with two guest passes to attend the reading of the Provincial Budget in the Alberta Legislature on October 27.
We were very pleased with the tone of the budget, happy to hear that education funding has been stabilized in the province, and that the proposed elimination of “funding for growth” has been reversed. That said, there was no mention of addressing class sizes, and reducing school fees for families is a budget goal that appears to have been pushed further along the fiscal calendar. Here is a link to Alberta Budget 2015 for your own reference. There is still work to be done.
If you’ve been following us on Facebook and Twitter, you already know that on October 30, three representatives from the SOS Alberta network were granted a meeting in Edmonton with Education Minister, David Eggen! We reiterated to the Minister that we believe that guaranteeing equal access to a quality public education for all students in Alberta’s English, French, and Catholic schools is best achieved by reducing school fees for families, decreasing class sizes, and increasing overall per-student funding in the province. These priorities were well-received by Minister Eggen, and we had a very positive discussion with him about our areas of concern for public education in Alberta.
The Social Summit
Most recently, SOS Alberta members attended The Social Summit in Calgary, with the goal of increasing our social media reach and our engagement with the public. The three day conference provided those in attendance with ideas and tools for communicating and engaging with their networks and supporters. A huge thank you to The Social Summit community for donating tickets to SOS Alberta, and helping us expand our network!
We want your input
SOS Alberta is planning a follow-up meeting with Minister David Eggen in the New Year. The SOS network wants to take your concerns directly to the minister. Share your feedback and concerns with us on Facebook or Twitter and have your voice heard!