SOS Alberta – Update

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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.


Minister’s Meeting
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!

 

 

Public Education Matters

Thank you to everyone who supported our campaign last spring; we put education issues at the forefront of the election conversation.  Over 1,500 Albertans signed the SOS letter to stop proposed budget cuts to public education and joined our website campaign sending letters to their MLAs and the four provincial party leaders.  Thank you!  Your voice was heard, and last May, the incoming provincial government halted the budget cuts and restored funding for the 2015-2016 school year.  At SOS Alberta our goal is to keep our voice strong by staying connected with each other.  Let’s support our students; like us on facebook, and send us a tweet so we can let the provincial government hear what Albertans are saying about education.

If you are just joining the SOS cause, here are some FAQs:

Who are we?    We are you.  We are a grassroots organization of parents working to support public education in Alberta’s English, French, and Catholic Schools.  We are independent and nonpartisan, and we do not receive any funding.

What do we stand for?    We stand for equal access to quality public education for all students in Alberta.

What are our top three concerns?    Reducing school fees for families, decreasing class sizes, and increasing overall per-student funding in Alberta.


The 2015-2016 school year is underway, and there is a new provincial budget on the horizon.  We want to hear from you.  What does your community school looks like this year?

• What are class sizes at your child’s school?

• Are your child’s school fees higher, or lower this year?

• Does your school have specialist or resource teachers this year?

 

Share the SOS newsletter and website with friends, family, and your school council.  Let us know about your experiences, or if you have any other concerns about public education in Alberta.  We want to hear what your community school looks like.  Tell us what’s good, tell us what’s bad; let’s learn from each other, so we can help each other.  Thanks for supporting our students!